New Creation, an Easter retreat

Welcome – this retreat offers a chance to reflect prayerfully on our relationship to the Risen Lord as we encounter Christ in ourselves, in other people and in the whole of creation.

In this retreat we will ponder how the Risen Lord is present to us.   What it means for the Spirit of God to dwell within us in our everyday lives.  The retreat will give us an opportunity to consider how Christ comes to us anew each day just as he came to his disciples on the road to Emmaus, or locked away in an upper room or on the beach after they had returned from fishing.

As you pray with the scripture passages we hope that you will encounter the Risen Lord in and through all of creation.  And that that encounter will have a transforming effect so that you experience God deep at work in your life and equally deep at work in the work of saving all of creation.

We will need to decide on some practical things to help our retreat go well.  Firstly, how long can you pray each day.  The prayer material lasts about fifteen minutes.  Remember don’t give up too easily if your prayer time is difficult some days.  Equally don’t stay too long in prayer if you are really enjoying it.   If you would like extra resources to help you prepare for prayer you will find breathing and quietening down exercises on the pray-as-you-go website.

Decide which time of day you will pray.  Some of us will pray at the same time each day.  This might be in the morning or the evening or at lunch time to break up the day.  Some of us will find we pray at different times on different days because of our schedules.  The important thing is to decide ahead of time when you will pray and try to stick to it each day.

Finally, pay attention to the theme and the grace prayed for each week.  These are repeated each day of the week at the start of the pray material.  As you hear them ask God to grant you this grace.

Before you begin the retreat become aware that you desire to make the retreat is really God’s way of welcoming you to meet God in this way.  Remind yourself that you are not alone, you journey in the company  of all those around the world who are praying this retreat beside you.

Eastertide recalls a time when the Risen Lord drew near to his disciples.  They are frightened, downcast, forlorn lacking future hope.  Each time the Risen Lord meets with them he accepts their fearfulness and rebuilds their hope and faith in him.  The disciples do not fully understand these encounters, but they have a profound sense of the abiding presence of their Lord, “did not our hearts burn within us?”.  These encounters bear fruit at Pentecost.  Like the early disciples we too are unsure about what this saving presence means and yet it is real for us.  In this retreat we are invited to see how the Risen Lord continues to abide with us in our daily lives and throughout all of creation.

During this retreat we will look at the way people in both the Old and New Testaments believe in a God who re-creates all things.  We will hear how God desires to change our hearts of stone to hearts of flesh.  How in and through Christ, the Risen Lord, a new creation is ushered in.  How all things are made new and all things sing the praises of God.  We will listen to the groaning of creation as it awaits the saving power of Christ.

We are invited to find how we both experience this renewal, this new birth and at the same time how we participate in God’s saving activity of bringing new life to the whole cosmos.