A Word form John: Selah

For 12 weeks this summer we will be having a weekly Sunday evening service centered around contemplation, meditation, and mindfulness.  We’re calling the service “Selah.”  Some of you might be familiar with this word.  You often see it in the book of Psalms either at the end of a chapter or at the end of sections in one chapter.  We don’t have an English translation for this Hebrew word and biblical scholars are divided on what its original meaning might have been.  One thing that they do agree on is that it is an intentional pause as a cue for the music that was originally played with the psalm or as a marker for the listener to pause and reflect.  Either way, the best translation should be, “stop and listen”.  That’s our plan for these services, a time for you to pause, stop, and listen.

Each service will be different but there will be four themes we will be focusing on through the summer, breathing, meditating, (mindful) eating, and movement.  There will be yoga, making tea, guided meditations, art, and a time for you to respond and reflect with those who were worshiping with you.  This is not a service just for veterans in mindful practices or those who are familiar with mediation.  It is open to all.  The science is in on the power of meditation.  It has been proven to reduce anxiety, reduce implicit age and race bias, and helps your brain reduce distraction.

Selah will be a chance to combine two worlds that don’t often, but should, regularly intersect; mindful practices and faith.  Throughout the gospels Jesus regularly takes retreats to pray, mediate, and sit in the powerful silence of God.  We’re not breaking ground on something new, just reclaiming a practice that’s as old as our faith itself.

Selah begins on June 10 at 6pm in the Choir Room.