|Exodus 18.1-12 by Rev. Elsa A. Peters|
My first prompt from #Reverb10 asks for One Word. The very first prompt of this journey asks me to pick one word to encapsulate the year 2010. One word. I’m supposed to explain this word and then explain what the next word will be. But, that’s not going to work out. I can’t choose one. On the first day of this journey, before any rules are set, I’m going to break the rules. I’ll chose four words to encapsulate my year. Four words that speak to my year: You. Are. Not. Alone. These four words together articulate my relationship with the divine — even though it feels that God is sometimes far way. Individually, these words voice the power of being present to myself. They remind me who I am and what I’m not. These words speak to the loss and the celebration that has marked this calendar year, but even more, these words speak to who I want to be beyond this time.
After all, I don’t live simply by calendars and clocks. It’s Advent in liturgical time. In the church, the new year has already begun and we’re together wondering if we’ve learned anything at all. We’re looking for God who is there and not there. We’re trying to remember again that we’re not alone as we try to figure out what’s next. I wish that I could offer this assurance to others — as I read in the news about the unemployed, those struggling with HIV and AIDS, and so many others. I want to be able to say more to these people but I can’t do so without remembering it myself. You. Are. Not. Alone. It might feel as though you are. Surely, I have felt that way but there is something there. There is power within you. It’s the prayer that Saint Patrick adorned on his breastplate and the one that I want to hold onto as I look for the signs of God that truly are everywhere around me.
- Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
- Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
- Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
- Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, Christ when I arise,
- Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
- Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
- Christ in every eye that sees me,
- Christ in every ear that hears me.
I don’t know what next year will hold. I don’t know if there will be even more words than these four but I do hope that — no matter where I am on life’s journey — Christ is in my ears and all that hear me.