Brother Alois, the prior of Taizé, wrote his letter for 2012 under the title, ‘Towards a New Solidarity’ (http://www.taize.fr/IMG/pdf/120enletter.pdf) and the theme for the Bible study and discussion groups was trust. While the 17-24 year old groups spent a lot of the week playing trust games, the 25-35 year old groups cracked on with some fairly hefty conversations!
When I arrived in Taizé on the Sunday it was after a long journey. I’d been travelling for 19 hours and hadn’t slept, so I wasn’t in the best frame of mind for the inevitable queueing that constitutes the arrival at any place like Taizé! So, in tiredness I looked around at the big groups of happy, laughing people and felt very out of the loop. I suppose I felt quite insecure and out of place, as did many people. In fact, Brother Paolo, the British contact brother, welcomed us on the coach with ‘don’t worry about Sunday, it’s chaotic – tomorrow will feel better!’ and several other people said that they just wanted to get back on the bus and go home the same evening we arrived! Not ideal.
So when we had our first Bible introduction with Brother Matthew on the Monday morning, I had to laugh at the theme of the week – trust! I found myself thinking that the beginning of the week had demanded that I trust the community, trust the welcome teams, trust myself (especially with my tent erecting skills!) and trust God that all would be well. And it was so worth it!!!
My discussion group was a really diverse group of people, made up of one Polish, one Swedish, one Dutch, one other English, three German and one Spanish. As you can imagine we were all coming from different backgrounds and our discussions reflected this. I’ll write some reflections on these discussions over the next few blogs, but I thought I would start with an overview before getting started.
For now, have one of the chants we sang every day over the week. Truly beautiful! It means: ‘All life long, for the Lord I will sing; while I live, I will praise my God. My joy is in God.’