"And Then God Showed Up"

This past weekend I participated in the Happening weekend as a staff member. We had a fantastic time, and My official role was "Dad", but I actually acted more like "Roadie/Musician". All I had to do, was to make sure none of the kids did anything that would cause them harm or get them in trouble, and make sure the musician knew where to be, when, and what to do when she was there. No problem.

Seriously, no problem. I have been on many happenings, I know the program inside and out. I know who is doing what at any given time, and I can tell you exactly when things "get heavy". This is because the weekend is designed to create an atmosphere that allows for youth to comfortably enter into an experience of God with each other. First we build community. Then we build on the spiritual reasons for gathering together. Then we provide experiential opportunities that don't happen very often, if at all, in our home parishes (opportunity for reconciliation, healing and laying on of hands, having the leaders of the weekend mimic Christ by washing feet in the context of servant ministry, one-on-one conferences with an adult who are just there to listen and get to know you a little better).

Happening, on the one hand, is very predictable, we have the same progression of talks, and the same flow to the weekend time in and time out. On the other hand, it is not predictable at all, depending on your leadership, and the group of kids that are in attendance makes a huge difference in the energy, pace, and volume of the weekend. But something happens that is both predictable and wholly unexpected every time, God's presence manifest.

We sometimes hear the phrase, "and then God showed up", when we are talking about some spiritual event. It's interesting that we say it this way when we conceptually understand that God is always "showed up". God's presence isn't less and more, however our awareness of Him is. And we can do things that attune us to be better receivers of His holiness. Prayer, singing, community, focused energy into the who, what and why of God, time to think about who we are, and our relationship with Jesus.

This means that even though I have been on many Happenings, and I don't even have to think about the schedule to know where and when to be; I don't have a clue when or where or how God will "show up", or maybe another way to say this is: when or where or how we will enter into the awareness of God, present with us.

I have seen groups manifest this presence by a relaxing of everyone's shoulders, and community suddenly becomes easy. I have seen groups lift each other up in healing and prayer for hours. I have seen groups sing their hearts out because the thing they wanted most was more time for worship. I have seen groups be very quiet because the stillness was so peaceful. This does not mean that a group will stay quiet, or what have you (far from it), but for that time, God was known in a way that we didn't recognize before.

My point is, that when we say, "and then God showed up", I believe what we really mean is "and then I entered into God's presence". It's what we do to posture our hearts and minds to the reality of God that allows Him to act within us, and allows us to be present. God is always "showed up", and for that I am very thankful.

Nick

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Event Calendar

Eucharistic Festival
Sat Jun 24 @11:00AM -
Live Stream - Solemn Mass
Sun Jun 25 @10:15AM - 11:30AM
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Thu Jun 29 @ 9:00AM - 09:30PM
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