As I write this post, a Women’s Lutheran Via de Cristo weekend is beginning. The retreat starts on Thursday evening and ends on Sunday afternoon. When you think “retreat” you may imagine lots of free time, reading the Bible and praying alone, maybe communing with nature. Via de Cristo is not like that! It is a weekend jam-packed with singing, fellowship, worship, talks by laypeople and clergy on spiritual topics, discussion and (what Lutherans love best of all) plenty of coffee and good food.
The weekend is designed for Christians who want to grow in their faith, and the amazing thing is, everyone experiences it differently. For many it is a real mountaintop high; for some a time to cast off burdens; others experience the love and presence of Christ in a special way; still others find it a time of refreshment and renewal. On a weekend, you will meet Christ where you are, and receive something special that He has planned just for you.
When I went on my weekend, over 25 years ago, I didn’t hear anything new or startling–but it put all the pieces together for me. Suddenly I could see my faith journey as a whole and it has been a big help in keeping my focus in the right place. On my weekend, I made friends, found a way to go closer to the Christian friends I already had at church, and learned to see myself as a leader in the Christian community. It changed my life. Not in a lightening flash, but gradually, over time, as the message of the weekend was absorbed and incorporated in my daily life (hmmm…reminds me of the leaven in the bread thought).
So readers, this weekend, please pray for the ladies on retreat, and consider going on a Via de Crist weekend yourself (by the way, you don’t have to be a Lutheran to do this and there are weekends for men as well). If you would like to learn more, contact the Lutheran ladies for more information, we will be happy to help.
For those authors and readers who have made a weekend, I hope you will post and comment. And remember, God loves you and so do I!