First, let me simply say blessings on you as we enter into August. You and I have been truly blessed, even in the midst of all we are going through. God has been with us, and continues to work in and through our lives and witness. We are blessed with another day which we can honor God with how we speak and what we do.
I’ve been thinking recently about my hopes, dreams and prayers for us. Do you ever take the time to simply be, and then reflect on what your hopes and dreams are? Hopes and dreams are not simply wishes, they are things born out of deep reflection and connecting with the Divine. We have generally been brought up to think sitting down and doing nothing physically productive is a waste of time. The thing about getting in touch with the Divine is, it takes dedicated time. True, we can experience and get glimpses of the Divine as it breaks into our daily lives, however, this is not the same as spending intentional time allowing God to speak to us. When we settle ourselves into a reflective position, clear our minds of all the junk and clutter which many times works to keep us anxious, fearful and disjointed, then we are ready to connect with the Divine.
I have places in my home where I can and do spend intentional time alone with God. My favorite place, you probably have guessed, is on the patio. Its a covered space that usually gets a cool breeze. I have several seating options, flowers, plants, grass, trees, and all manner of creatures that surround me. It really is my favorite spot. Its here more often than not where I hear God speaking to me, I receive that connection needed which fuels my hopes and dreams.
My hope and dream for each of us is we will feel God’s presence more and more tangibly during this period of social distancing. I dream of God connecting to each of us during this time, giving us encouragement and comfort. Encouragement to reflect more and more of God’s love to those we encounter. Comfort for the loneliness we are experiencing, letting us know we are not alone. My dream for us as our country feels divided and separated, is that each of us will play an integral part in reaching over these divisions, seeking to understand the feelings of those are different from us.
Finally, my prayer for us today is…
Gracious and Loving God,
We are each of us being impacted by all that’s going on in different and difficult ways. We are distanced from our friends and family, it makes us feel so cut off, so alone. We are instructed to keep our distance, to not touch one another, to keep our social interaction to an absolute minimum, to wear a mask to protect us and others. These are hard things God, you know you made us to be in community. We long for that communal experience once again. We pray for your comfort in our loneliness, we pray for your encouragement to do the things which will help bring this pandemic under control, but mostly we pray that we can become more like you. The divisions we see and hear sadden and depress us. We know you made us each different, and yet we are all the same. We all want to love and be loved. Help us God, to reach beyond our meager understanding to see different perspectives and experiences. As you help broaden our understanding, enlarge our hearts to encompass a love for all.
In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
May God’s peace and grace continue with us on our journey together, Pastor Tom