Today the pastor at the congregation I worshipped with handed out rocks in worship and offered this slide for personal meditation. 

They were not the pretty, smooth, colorful ones I like to use for liturgical elements.  These were rough, regular, heavy rocks.  Even though she washed them dirt went all over my dress (which was fine with me).  


She read from Bishop Tutu’s The Book on Forgiving where he describes an exercise with the rock.  Take the rock and hold it in your hand for as many hours in the day as you can. 

Try to wash dishes with one hand holding a rock.  

Try to drive your car. 

Try to type at work. 

Try to hug a loved one. 

Try to get dressed. 

Try to…..

Of course, the rock will slow you down.  The rock will hamper you and make you unable to do what you need to be about.  The rock-exercise is meant to be a way of thinking through how hatred or anger can hold you back, weigh you down quite literally like a rock.

As I sat in worship today I was meditating on many things:


The hatred that is being lodged at immigrants coming into our country, some of them war refugees, some of them children the age of my child.  My heart breaks.


The Middle East embroiled in yet another war, a place where all sides refuse to back down from hatred and prejudice.  My heart breaks.

Anger in our own denomination—watching fights break out among its leaders.  My heart breaks.  

What would it be like if our congregations in this time of so much stress engaged in a Sabbath practice of forgiveness for a season? 

Reflected on the power of forgiveness and chose to live in a new way? 

What witness would we offer to the communities around us?  How would our hearts change?  How would our ministries change?  What fresh winds of Spirit and relationship might blossom in our lives?   

Might we inch back towards being peacemakers once again?


2 responses

  1. Your rock exercise is very interesting! There’s so much we all need to change with regard to prejudices and old held hangover hatreds. Sometimes those hatreds seem like habits without thought. This is is long because I’m so distressed about the troubles n our world today.

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