I was thinking about the word spiritual last week—how it entwines two words: spirit and ritual. Several things began to churn around in my mind:
- To be a spiritual person involves some sort of ceremony as part of my daily and seasonal routine.
- To grow as a spiritual person requires regular practices or disciplines that bring change.
I sensed the dance of spirit and ritual yesterday as I pushed the plunger through the swirl of dark water and coffee grounds in my French Press.
My early morning routine suddenly felt infused with the presence of the Lord and I realized that, for me, making coffee had become a spirit ritual.
I embraced the holy moment and didn’t get too mental about the experience until later. (A tip I learned from St. Teresa of Avila: never interrupt the Holy with a detailed conversation during intimate moments—just enjoy His presence and save the discussion for another time.)
“Later” came as I sat on the couch with my Bible and hot coffee.
This is my ritual
- Grinding coffee beans…
- Combining the just barely boiling water with the beans…
- Stirring the brew with a wooden oatmeal stick that I picked up on Iona in Scotland,..
- Pushing the plunger through the mess…
- Pouring the coffee into the cream sitting in my special mug
This is the prelude to my discipline of Bible reading, prayer, and devotional reading every morning.
It is holy time. It is a ritual.
I want to explore this dance of spirit and ritual in the weeks ahead—the idea of ceremony combining with discipline as one way to experience the holy in the daily.
Thanksgiving is this week and Advent starts the Christian year next Sunday.
I hope you’ll join me. As for today, what rituals or ceremonies enrich your disciplines for growth into the Holy?