Another lively discussion over breakfast followed a beautiful walk along the trails along the Thames River in northeast London. In fact, we barely got past the first question on our discussion sheets!
Using Miller’s study guide, we were invited to consider which of the following we have tried or experienced:
NEW AGE PRACTICES: ESP, Tarot Cards, Channeling, Ouija board, Astrology, Out-of-Body experiences, being bathed in light, a visit from a dead relative.
MORE TRADITIONAL CHRISTIAN PRACTICES: Divine healing, speaking in tongues, an answer to prayer, spiritual guidance, using a spiritual gift, a visit from an angel, an exorcism, hearing God’s voice as you make a decision.
The answers were fascinating and ranged from everything to having experienced all of the above to experiencing none of the above! Most of us fell somewhere in the middle, having had experiences under both categories, sometimes not always taking them too seriously, as when we were children and played with a Ouija board or our present day delight as adults in reading our horoscope every day!
The more we shared, however, we realised that in fact many of us had experienced more supernatural events than we realised. For example, many of us had had a visit from a deceased loved one, often in the form of a dream. Many of us also had also had been visited by an angel, maybe not an angel dressed in a long, flowing white garment with beautiful big wings and a halo, but a messenger (the real meaning of the word ‘angel’) from the spirit realm nonetheless.
We all agreed that the years had made us more open to a variety of spiritual and supernatural experiences, not less open to such things. One member of the group, a scientist, pointed out (in contradiction to Miller’s thesis) that far from discouraging such experiences, science had taught her to explore and question and wonder at the marvels of God’s good creation.
What about you? Can you relate to any of the above experiences? How has your view of the supernatural changed over the years? Are you less spiritual or more spiritual than when you were young? Given that Jesus operated very much in the world of the supernatural (see Matthew 8:22-33 and Matthew 9:18-26), does being more open to the supernatural help you to understand and appreciate Jesus and his healing miracles in the New Testament? And how can we build a community of faith and acceptance where people will feel safe to discuss their experiences of the supernatural?
Please join us next week when we wrap up with Miller’s final chapter on “Wholeness.”