Peace School - This week we continue our annual four week series on Intimacy and Relationships. Using "Body and Soul" from Menno Media, this week's topic is "Created for Intimacy."
Sometimes I feel like our culture focuses a lot on sex and sexual desire and sexuality identity, but not enough on intimacy. I get the sense that most people do wrestle with sex and sexual identity regular, but that they are even more concerned about intimacy. We can be attractive, attracted and sexually intimate, and yet not have enough intimacy in our lives. Furthermore, intimacy can be far beyond a sexual partner, and actually should come from a variety of people. We need deep relationships in our lives, and deep bonds in our lives. We don't necessarily need a lot of relationships at one time, but we do need at least a few deep relationships. In your life, who are you most deeply connected to? Once you can answer that, then the question of sexual intimacy can be a bit less daunting. Sex can never be the only intimacy in ones life. We are far more complex than one physical act, and our souls need more than just physical interactions. I hope and pray that teenagers and all adults find and cultivate intimacy that speaks to your soul and connects you to people in the deepest ways. May we all know intimacy with fellow human beings that doesn't always involve sexual intimacy.
Reflect - Now that we finished Genesis last week, here's the Book of Ruth for this week. It's a story of commitment and intimacy that does not center around sex. Although Ruth does find a husband, the story is a result of another relationship in her life. Below is an animated music video of the book.
Pray - Work on practicing a daily time of intentional prayer. There are many resources online and ways to pray. One simple one (but can still be deep) is to pray the LORD's Prayer. Below is the New Zealand version.
Serve - Consider how you will be part of a bigger community this week. Here is another short video about DenUM's Food For All project that we'll be joining on the 22nd after Peace School.
Earth-maker, Pain-bearer, Life-giver,
Source of all that is and that shall be,
Father and Mother of us all,
Loving God, in whom is heaven:
The hallowing of your name echo through the universe!
The way of your justice be followed by the peoples of the world!
Your heavenly will be done by all created beings!
Your commonwealth of peace and freedom
sustain our hope and come on earth.
With the bread we need for today, feed us.
In the hurts we absorb from one another, forgive us.
In times of temptation and testing, strengthen us.
From trials too great to endure, spare us.
From the grip of all that is evil, free us.
For you reign in the glory of the power that is love,
now and for ever. Amen.