May 12, 2020

Published May 12, 2020 by St Matthews Lutheran Church in Daily Message

Pause throughout the day and give thanks for the simple things of creation that enrich your life and faith and fill you with joy and wonder.

Prayer Ventures, Living    

Lutheran, May 12, 2020

16Rejoice always, 17pray without ceasing, 18give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

                  1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18

When I was in seminary I had what was called a “split internship.” That simply means that I served at two sites, one of which was The Lowman Home in White Oak, SC.

The Lowman Home was a multilevel care facility with single family homes all the way through Alzheimer and dementia care facilities. I was afforded the opportunity to preach frequently, but also to hear sermons from my site supervisor. I remember the Sunday he preached on this text in a setting that for many would seem to preclude the idea of unceasing prayer. The sermon just happened to be on a Sunday following one of the hurricanes that hit that area and caused millions of dollars of damage. As he began his sermon, he asked, “How do we rejoice and give thanks if your house has been taken out by a stand of toppled pine trees? How do we pray?”

We certainly can ask the same kind of question as we continue through this pandemic, when we’re isolated from each other, when many are unemployed or underemployed. How do we continue to see good things when so much is falling apart around us.

The answer, of course, according to St. Paul is “pray unceasingly.” That’s not a simple platitude. When we pray we are brought closer to the one who created all things, the one who died for us, the one who truly brings comfort, strength – and yes – rejoicing.

A simple “technique” – pick a color and whenever you see something that is that color- stop for a second and pray.