A Christfulness Meditation

Cleansing of the heart

Sit comfortably, with a straight back; it may be helpful to close your eyes during the meditation. Feel the ground under your feet; remain grounded, breathe calmly, focus on your heart.

Jesus Christ, send your Spirit to guide us during this meditation.

Imagine Jesus Christ standing in front of you … see His heart, which is wide open toward you … full of love, appreciation and peace …

Relax in his presence … Breathe calmly … rest in your breathing out and breathing in his presence …

Breathe out and let go of what troubles you, let go of old concepts or misconceptions of who you are, who God is or who other people are …

Breathing in, receive peace, joy and love from the open heart of Jesus Christ …

Every time you breathe out, your heart and mind is cleansed more and more … And every time you breathe in, Christ will live more fully in your heart and mind …

Let this process go on while we listen to some music … Music plays …

We are about to conclude our meditation; use your concluding breathing out to share the peace, joy and love of Christ with the world around you …

May the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (cf. Phil. 4:7)

This meditation may be changed into a prayer with people, e.g. at Body-Mind-Spirit Fairs 

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Homily at Christmass celebration at Tao Fong Shan, December 22nd 2017

Bible readings: Isaiah 9,2-7, Hebrews 1:1-5, Matthew 1:18-25

Dear sisters and brothers in Jesus Christ!

The Lord met Joseph in a dream and spoke to him of the child which was growing in the womb of Mary, and said to him, “You are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” 

And Saint Mathew says that Mary giving birth to Jesus is a fulfilment of Isaiah’s prophesy, “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means God with us).”

In Jesus we meet God; God is with us in him, in such a way that we will be saved from our sins. We will be set free of that pattern of life, in which we are entangled – a life estranged from God, a life of abuse of other humans and of the created world.

We are people wandering in darkness, but in Jesus, God with us, we see a great light. When we live estranged from God, our life is darkness, we cannot orientate ourselves and find the right direction of life. But Jesus is born to be God with us, so that God is no longer a stranger to us. We’ll now walk in light, walking with him who is the way, the truth and the life.

When we live in the pattern of sin, we live in forgetfulness. We have forgotten God and all of God’s gifts; we focus on ourselves, our needs and cravings. We forget that only God is God, and live as we ourselves are Gods, or we make gods in the image of our fears, hopes or desires. Jesus is born as our Immanuel, God with us, to make the presence of God known and experienced where we have forgotten God and are enslaved in our imaginations.

When we live estranged from God, we follow the way of death instead of the way of life. Estranged from God we do not know or remember the law of life, the inner order that keeps creation together as one. This inner law is love, that we serve one another and seek what is good for our fellow humans and creatures. Instead we live for the benefit of ourselves, for having success and happiness at any cost. But that is the way of death; everything falls apart when we only care for ourselves and not for others. Jesus is born to be the prince of peace who will reign, establishing and upholding the kingdom of heaven with justice and righteousness where the law of death had reigned before.

Jesus is born to us as the Son of God, who “is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word”. He was God’s Son even before he was born to us – Son of God and Son of Man. He is the one who from before creation radiates or manifests God’s presence, expressing what lies in the heart of God the Father. God’s Son is the Word of God. Before all beginning God made room for creation, and God called into the darkness and named creation. The Word at first called light into existence. “Let there be light” – because the light is that created thing that is most like God. Through light we find our orientation in life. Through light we recognize other created beings. Light is the source of discernment, so that we know what is good, and what is evil. The Word of God however is uncreated light. The Word of God is the expression of God’s love and grace: God’s longing and will to give life and to sustain life, to bring order to the world. The Word establishes the law of life through creation. The Word of God is born to us from Mary so that the law of life may once more be known where it was forgotten. In Jesus we meet God, and we meet what we were created to be: sons and daughters of God together with him, who became the Son of Man, even though he still is the Son of God.

He is God with us that we may become humans with God –reflecting God’s presence in him to our neighbors.

Sometimes when I meditate on God’s word in scripture and the life of Jesus, I hear him talking to me in my thoughts, and I share this communication with Jesus as Inspirations. I would like to share such an inspiration, unfolding the meaning of seeing a great light:

You have seen the true Light. I’ve touched your hearts and made them alive. I’ve shown mine and the Father’s love unto you. I call you my brothers and sisters, because this is what you are.

The first time you saw the Light, it was as if you had fallen in love or it felt like a rapture. And you long for that experience. How good it is to be here. But the Light shines into the darkness to fulfill its purpose.

My Light shone most clearly on the cross, as I prayed with the suffering humankind: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? ”The light shines brightest, where the serving Love is greatest. On such a day a criminal will be with me in Paradise, and on such a day sinners will find forgiveness and a new life.

This is the Light you have seen, and which in you shall be brought to the world. This is more than falling in love with me. It is more than the ecstatic bliss in God’s presence. The brightest light in you is more than this. If you only aspire being in love and experience bliss, your light will darken. When I touched your heart, I meant to awaken God’s image in you. You see God’s image in my life. You’ll have to follow me, if the image of God shall be clearly seen in you. It is the serving love, which is my Light in you.

I send you into the world, and often you’ll feel left on your own and feel alone even among many people. You may experience an absence of God. But I live by faith in your hearts as you serve others in deeds and loving presence among those who need you at most.

Here ends the inspiration. Jesus Christ is God with us that we may become humans with God – following the way of life, living by the law of life, set free from the pattern of sin, reflecting God’s presence in him to our neighbors. May God with us grant us the courage to follow him in serving love.

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The mystery of the name

Revelation 3:12: “The one who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God. Never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down from my God out of heaven, and my own new name.”
From the beginning of creation I have wished to share life with you.

I created you for fellowship and communion with me. We were not strangers to one another. We shared a deep confidence and trust – as between children and their parents.
I have never forgotten you, even though you have forgotten me and my name. Therefore I invite you to know my name once more. When you know my name, you are able to call upon me that we can have an open conversation with confidence and trust. I have inserted my name in the name of Jesus; his name is mine. But his name is also a human name so that we will not be strangers…
I give myself to you in the name of Jesus. The name is full of my presence. I am with you in the name. And if you call out, mentioning my name, you will experience that I am already there and go with you.
When you speak my name it is a statement og faith and bears witness to the fact that I have made you free and have brought you out of your forgetfulness. Now you remember who I am as well as who you yourself are. You are my child,
When you pray my name and take it into your heart, I will live in your heart, and your heart I beginning to be Jesus-shaped. In the depth of who you are, my image will be seen in growing clarity – in the way in which I revealed myself to you in Jesus Christ, my Son.
I call you by your name – by the name in which you recognizes yourself as being who you are. I call you by the name, which is conveys you with an assurance of being loved and appreciated. When I call you by your name, you sense my presence and my joy, seeing you as exactly you. But you also have a new name, which binds your name into mine. Your new name isn’t necessarily another name than what is presently your name, but it is your name bound into my name. This new name may be another name – unknown to other people than yourself, but known by me and the depth of your soul. This new name always carries the connotation of “daughter of God” or “son of God” or “born of the will of God”.
And your name is written in the book of life.

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Bible meditation on the Crucifixion

Sit comfortably, but with a straight back that you may breathe freely; it may be a help for you to close your eyes during the meditation. Feel the ground under your feet; remain grounded, breathe calmly, focus on the heart.

– Jesus Christ, send your Spirit to guide us during the meditation!

Imagine: you’re in Jerusalem two thousand years ago. Easter celebrations is at hand. Rustle and excitement. Last shopping has to be done.

Also excitement, because three men is going to be executed. You force your way through the crowds. You catch the sight of the Roman soldiers and the three men – each one carrying a crossbar. You recognize Jesus as one of them. All your attention is now on Jesus.

You see the crown of thorns around his head – stripes of blood through his clothes; he has been flogged.

You hear the scorns of the mob, and the crying and weeping of a group of women.

Jesus falls under the heavy burden of the crossbar. The soldiers order a man from the crowd to lift up his crossbar.

You follow Jesus and the soldiers through the town gate. In front of you the hill that looks like a skull. On top of the skull three wooden posts.

Your attention is still focused on Jesus on your way up the skull hill.

You reach the top. They strip Jesus of his clothes, his wounds are teared open.

They stretch his arms out on the crossbar and hammer nails through his hands. Pain is seen on his face, but he does not cry out.

The soldiers lift the crossbar unto the post and Jesus starts at it finds it place. They nail his feet to the post. The weight of his body makes his breathing difficult.

My God, my God! Why have you forsaken me?

Keep the image of the cross in front of you but take a look inside you for a moment, asking what is the greatest pain or sorrow in my life just now…

Now form a bowl mentally or with your hands in front of you, and put your pain or sorrow in the bowl. Lift the bowl up in front of your mouth. Breathing out you let go of your pain or sorrow. Your breath carries the sorrow or pain to the cross. The sky darkens, a solar eclipse, and the earth is shaking. It is as if all pain and sorrow together with yours gather at the cross of Jesus.

“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”

“Truly I tell you; today you will be with me in paradise.”

“Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”

Jesus he bows his head and gives up his spirit. He gives up his Spirit into your empty bowl.

Take the bowl to your heart, and let the Spirit of Life from the cross heal and restore you where you sorrow or pain were sitting, and notice the working of the Spirit in you while we listens to some music….

Let the process continue during the next piece of music

Play meditative music

We are about to conclude our meditation. Take some deep breaths, and when you are ready you may open your eyes, and move the limbs.

Blessing

May the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding keep my heart and my mind in the love of Christ Jesus.

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Christfulness retreats spring 2018

We have already many registered participants for the Christfulness retreat December 16th. Below follows information of the retreats in January, February and March 2018.

基督滿全為一種結合東西方教會豐富傳統的靈修方法。
同來靜修,一起練習,治癒心靈,滿有基督長成身量。

CHRISTFULNESS is spirituality, worldview, and an understanding of human nature. Christfulness comprises different spiritual disciplines from throughout the rich traditions of both the Eastern and the Western churches.

The focus of the practices is to grow up to the fullness of Christ. In the retreat you will have the chance to learn some of the practices, especially focusing on the healing of heart.

「基督滿全」道風山靜修營

日期:2017年1月6-7日、2月3-4日、3月24-25日(六-日)

時間:下午二時至翌日下午二時(兩日一夜)

地點:道風山基督教叢林

導師:馬奧勒牧師

費用:港幣五百八十元正(包括住宿、膳食及往返大圍交通)

查詢:2386 3220 / bd@tfscc.org

網上報名:www.tfscc.org/BD/christfulness

 

Christfulness: Tao Fong Shan Retreat

Date: 6-7 Jan, 3-4 Feb and 24-25 Mar 2017 (Sat – Sun)

Time: 2pm – 2pm the next day (2 days and 1 night)

Venue: Tao Fong Shan Christian Centre

Facilitator: Rev. Ole Skjerbæk Madsen

Fee: HK$ 580 (Including accommodation, meals and shuttle to and fro from Tai Wai Station)

Inquiry: 2386 3220 / bd@tfscc.org

Online registration: www.tfscc.org/BD/christfulness

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Hope

Today, I would like to share some thoughts with you on the concept Hope. Saint Paul mentions three lasting fundamentals or characteristics of Christian life:

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. (1. Cor, 13:13).

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Faith is trust. It springs out of experience. Thus it includes history and memory – not in a nostalgic way, but as a kind of energy full of confidence. The life of Jesus, the history of the fellowship of His followers and our own experiences of His presence throughout our lives gives us the courage to trust God and relate with an open mind to others.

Hope reaches into the future. This is not day dreaming or utopia. In the letter to the Hebrews we read:

We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek. (Hebrew 6:19-20).

Hope is likened to an anchor. Hope secures human existence in the fulfilment of creation and salivation. Jesus called this future the kingdom of God. Jesus said that this kingdom will come in the future as the consumption of creation, but at the same time it is present in us and among us. The Kingdom to come has the power to motivate us in our way of life.

The promise of the fulfilment of all human and created existence help us to break out of destructive patterns of life – personal as well as social, economic, and political. The letter to the Hebrews gives us examples of people who dared to leave old customs and to break out of their life circumstances, because they had confidence in God’s promises for the future. Hope encouraged them to leave unworthy life conditions and reach out for improvements of life conditions for themselves, their family, and their people.

When the Bible gives us images of a new Earth or the Kingdom of God, it speaks of peace and justice – not only justice as a concept of Law, but as a life of right relations between God and humans, between men and women, between nations, between humans and other created beings, nature and the Earth. These images show us that God’s intention for creation will be fulfilled.

Adam is in Genesis depicted as a gardener who takes care of the plants in the Garden of Eden, and he is the one who gives names to the animals. He recognizes each creature as it is, not as an object for his desires, but as someone to relate to; it has a name! Humans were intended to be the stewards of the Earth and all of earthly creation. This plan or intention was overruled by sin. Desire turned creation into object; humans became consumers of creation, and abusers of one another. Yet God has a future in mind, which brings us back to God’s original intentions as well as fulfilling this plan. This is depicted in for example in the prophetic books of the Bible as well as in the New Testament:

The wolf will live with the lamb,
the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and the yearling[
a] together;
and a little child will lead them.
The cow will feed with the bear,
their young will lie down together,
and the lion will eat straw like the ox.

The infant will play near the cobra’s den,
and the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest.

They will neither harm nor destroy
on all my holy mountain,
for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord
as the waters cover the sea.
(Isaiah 11:6-9)

Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
to the temple of the God of Jacob.
He will teach us his ways,
so that we may walk in his paths.”
The law will go out from Zion,
the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.

He will judge between the nations
and will settle disputes for many peoples.
They will beat their swords into plowshares
and their spears into pruning hooks.
Nation will not take up sword against nation,
nor will they train for war anymore.
(Isaiah 2:3-4)

Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever. (Revelation 22:1-5).

The Kingdom to come has new standards or norms for life. If the future will restore right relations between humans and between humans and our fellow creatures, we will anticipate the future and break out of our destructive relations and quench the false conceptions of one another. We anticipate the future when we stop hating our enemies and follow the words of Jesus: love your enemies and pray for them. It is because of hope that we change our life style and our priorities in life. The peoples of the future are those Jesus calls Blessed in the Sermon on the Mount:

Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
(Matthew 5:3-9).

Why will hope bring future standards of life into active presence; why do we have a hopeful confidence in future in spite of all tribulations and all those sad conditions of human life today? Why do we not despair? Because Jesus is the forerunner into the kingdom of God. Jesus was the Son of Man, the fulfilled Human person. In Him we see God’s intentions for Human life fulfilled. His human life was God-filled. He was a healer. He established new patterns of relations. He showed us that a fulfilled life is a life in serving love to one another. As Christians we also see God in Him. He established in his person right relations between humans and God. Now He is with God in the heavens, in eternity, as our spokesman and high priest. He reminds God of us.

Faith was grounded in experience and remembrance. Hope transcends borders and dysfunctional patterns of Human existence and anchors our life in the Kingdom of God. Past and future, remembrance and hope are summed up in love: the greatest of these is love! Giving ourselves to one another in serving love requires faith and hope, and yet love is the consummation of faith and hope.

Blessings,

Ole Skjerbæk Madsen

PS!  The Icon is from st-takla.org/Gallery

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This is my body

The Master Jesus Christ says: When I broke bread and shared it with my disciples, I said, “This is my body!” This act of sharing the bread reveals the secret of the completion of creation and the redemption of humanity.

You are called to be my body – each of you a working part of my body, and each of you vital for the welfare and the purpose of the whole body. You are in me. Together, you are my body – a living, energetic, and Spirit-filled organism. Through you I still have body in the world.

Your fellowship reveals the magic, which maintains the world: that you share with one another, are there for one another, serve one another. This unity-creating magic, which connects heaven and earth, is serving love.

“My body, which is given for you!” From the very beginning of creation, every created being is there for the others and for the whole. In that way it mirrors my being, for I Am the Word, in whom God communicates to you. This serving love was entrusted to humanity in a unique way, for you were created in my image to resemble me. I entrusted the rest of creation to you, so it could find its place in the whole. You were as a mirror, which reflected love in attentive care and in the service of creation.

“My body, which is given for you!” These words have taken on a resonance, which encompass pain, for these were the words I spoke with the words, that the bread is my body, on the night I was betrayed. And again in the words about the wine in the cup of thanks, “This is my blood, shed for you!”

When your lives began to cease reflecting me in the world, the world began to fall apart. The magic of unity was replaced by the magic of power, of fear, of lust and self-complacency. This is why I appeared, vulnerable, with the magic of love and service in a world drenched in dark magic. I gave myself. Despite your violence I gave myself willingly and thus manifested my devotion and serving love as the stronger magic – a magic, which brings life to the dead!

I invite you in to fellowship with me and let you share in my love. Through this, the mirror of your inner self is cleaned, so my presence, as new, can shine out through you in the world. I call you, as new, to serving love, in which the world is new and whole. I create again devoted and serving love in you. When you share your lives with one another, a redeemed humanity is made and grows, which is my body, and which is a small foretaste of the coming completion.

I Am with you, I live in your hearts, so you can recognize me in each other, and together become one body.

“This is my body!”

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An Inspiration on Christfulness

Before all Being is I AM THAT I AM – full, whole, absolute being, perfect rest, and yet incessantly moving beyond myself, creating. I AM the one who loves and gives life.

In the beginning was the void – a not-yet unfolded / dormant fullness of nothing, yet potently the whole universe. The void or emptiness was not severed from me; it was the space in which creation could happen, so that the fullness of life would find its expression and form as the Word spoke what was hidden in my Heart.

Your heart also has such a void or emptiness, which is not severed from me, but may be filled with the thoughts and images of my heart, and most of all with my image as expressed in the Word who became a man.

You were created in my image. Therefore you will find Christ, my Word, when you look into your heart. Here is bond?, unity, presence, and self-giving, non-judgmental love. Here you will find your Self, being loved and united with God and all God’s creatures. Out of the unity of your heart and mine you will find yourself as an I in relationship with a You. Out of the unity of your heart and mine you will find the joy of relationship with Me, my Word and my Spirit.

Out of the unity of your heart with all of my creatures you will find the enjoyment of life in all its plenitude, and you will find the strength to bear suffering and to reach out to those who suffer. Out of your unity with me and with your fellow creatures you will become a healer and a co-creator of the happiness of your neighbor.

To this end I will have to break the power of your Ego and the power of your false self-images, of your judging attitude toward others, and of your desirous relations toward the surrounding world. Be without fear as you meet the void and emptiness, when all of your self-perceptions, your imaginations, your judgments and your illusions are dissolved. The void is that space in your heart, where my image will be mirrored. The emptiness of your heart is the beginning of hope, because it is now possible to recognize Christ and my presence in Him, the Word who became Man. In Christ I become and I Am all in all.

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Retreat at Tao Fong Shan Saturday 16th December 2017

Welcome to a retreat at Tao Fong Shan, Saturday 16th December 2017.

In the new year we’ll have a monthly 24-hours retreat at Tao Fong Shan

 

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Christfulness in Hong Kong

 

In April 2017 i visited Tao Fong Shan Christian Center (TFSCC) to prepare a project to present CFN to the churches and the public in Hong Kong. September 1st my wife and I have started a period of ministry at TFSCC.

In the second week we together with Rev. Dr. Philze Lau, who is the Head of TFSCC’s Spirituality Division, were guiding a retreat with students or Higher Diploma of Spiritual Direction. About 30 persons participated, most of them being ministers and church workers.

The overall evaluation of the retreat: It was successful and well received. The peak experience was Wednesday afternoon: Philze summed up all of our themes up till that time, using also a story I had told from another retreat which he turned into action: He asked the students to greet each other and to look into the eyes of one another, saying, “I see Christ in you!”. They started to hug.

I’ve been ministering in a bridge-building project between spiritual seekers and new agers and Christians, before coming to Hong Kong. In a ministry meeting people of another faith than our own it’s especially important to look for and release the image of God in the other. We express this desire to see Christ in others in the discipleship prayer, which we pray daily, when possible at 5pm when many from the new spiritualties with a background in theosophy are praying for the healing of the world and of humanity, and especially for unity between people with good intentions:

God, you who are I AM,

I see the work of your Spirit

in the longing in people’s hearts for the peace of your kingdom

for the truth, beauty and goodness

I see the presence of your serving love

in people of good will and in all

who want to wander the path of discipleship.

May the power of your Spirit flow in us and lead us

to recognise all truth, and in practical service

May your Word made flesh, Jesus Christ, inspire us

to serving love as workers for the kingdom of God

May I find my place in your one work,

for the restoration of the Earth and the human race

– with a humble mind, in purity, truth, and love.

At the evaluation gathering we had among others this feedback:

  • We have never before in the course had the experience of being a fellowship. We even felt like going into town together after dinner.
  • We enjoyed the periods of silence (no talking), which helped a lot to reflect and digest the teaching and the experiences and to be in contact with oneself.
  • It was rewarding to combine prayer, meditation, and body movements.
  • Even though the liturgies were unusual to some of the participants, they were felt as a rewarding exercise. It was a new experience, but uplifting to have a concluding communion service
  • Several stressed what the teachings and practices had meant for a new perspective on their home situation or conflicts at work.

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