Contemplative Guide 12 – Destiny

Creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.

Romans 8: 19-21



Stilling: Being present to God

Begin with a simple stilling candle

You may want to light a candle, or say a short prayer as you intentionally place yourself in the presence of the Holy One.

Find a comfortable position and be still for a couple of minutes. Concentrate on your breathing – slowly, in and out. Relax your muscles. Don’t worry about any thoughts that come into your head; acknowledge them, then come back to your stilling exercise.


Say the following prayer as you commit to being in God’s presence:

Dear God,

You sustain me and feed me;

Like a shepherd you guide me;

You lead me to an oasis of green,

To lie down by restful waters.

Dwell in me that I may dwell in you.


From Jim Cotter, Psalms for a pilgrim people, Psalm 23


An in-between time

Growing up to be a child is all about Jesus’ challenge to become like children. This challenge was linked to a purpose: to enter and live in God’s kingdom here and now.

While I believe we can be part of God’s kingdom right now, it is also clear to me that this kingdom of heaven has not yet been fully established. We are living in an in-between time, in which we may see aspects of God’s kingdom but we certainly don’t see it in all its fullness. Children continue to get abused; people continue to use violence to promote their causes; the rich get richer at the expense of those who are poor, vulnerable, and exploited; people continue to get sick, suffer, and die; and our world remains troubled and damaged.

And yet we can look forward to a time when God’s kingdom will come in all its fullness, and the whole of creation will be restored and reconciled to God… a time in which we, too, will be restored and made new – body, mind, heart, and soul. We will be brought into a right relationship with God, with ourselves, with others, and with creation. In this new kingdom, all sin, suffering, and injustice will be overturned and replaced with wholeness, peace, and joy.

Is this a meaningless hope?

In my work, when I spend time with children who have been abused, or with families whose baby has died, or with parents who are struggling to bring up a severely disabled child, that vision of God’s kingdom is largely what keeps me going. It is something I look forward to with hope, and I long for that day when there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain. I look forward to the day when heaven and earth come together, when God’s dwelling place will be among his people.


Prayer: Encountering God

Choose one of the two exercises below as a contemplative approach to prayer: Encountering God through poetry or Encountering God in Scripture




In our response to these reflections on God’s coming kingdom, we use the Coventry litany of reconciliation, and a parallel litany of hope.


The Coventry litany of reconciliation

The hatred which divides nation from nation, race from race, class from class,

Father, forgive.

 The covetous desires of people and nations to possess what is not their own,

Father, forgive.

The greed which exploits the work of human hands and lays waste the earth,

Father, forgive.

Our envy of the welfare and happiness of others,

Father, forgive.

Our indifference to the plight of the imprisoned, the homeless, the refugee,

Father, forgive.

The lust which dishonours the bodies of men, women and children,

Father, forgive.

The pride which leads us to trust in ourselves and not in God,

Father, forgive.


A litany of hope

For creation renewed, refreshed, redeemed

Come Lord Jesus, Come

 For life in all its fullness

Come Lord Jesus, Come

For healing of bodies, minds and spirits

Come Lord Jesus, Come

For justice for the poor, the oppressed, the downtrodden

Come Lord Jesus, Come

For reconciliation between people and nations

Come Lord Jesus, Come

That there may be no more death or mourning or crying or pain

Come Lord Jesus, Come





Closing: Going on in God’s presence

Finish your time by saying the Lord’s Prayer.