We have moved into our home and there is now work being done to install new heaters in our very old building. The wall of the garden behind our home was a fortification built to protect the city from Napoleon. People hid from US bombs in the cellar that is now our storage in the First World War.
I have so many questions about how the German people have made these realities part of their identity. I am not even sure how to start this conversation with strangers but it’s what I am thinking about every time I clean up the dust from these workers. And there is a lot of dust.
I have been making multiple trips to the markets to stock our pantry. I really want to get back to baking bread but we don’t yet have a working oven even if there was not such a mess. So for now, I’m just gathering the ingredients. It didn’t feel much like a spiritual practice — honestly my spirit is just tired — until I read this story in Capernaum on the other side of the sea. You might also hear a nod to Simone Biles and her strong no.
Prayer of Confession
Too often we have allowed ourselves to work and work and work until exhaustion and burnout. You know, O God. You know that your church doesn't set out with a new mission until we are certain of our success. You know that we want to win. You know that we haven't even rolled up our sleeves to try to feed ourselves with flour, yeast, salt and water because we already know it will not be perfect. Encourage us, O God, to take the time to gather the ingredients and ready our hearts for what will endure. For we have not yet had our fill and we are waiting for your assurance.
I am partial to sung assurances rather than spoken ones. This is one of those moments where I want there to be a melody that assures us. I want that tune to carry us in all of the doubt and frustration. This is the one that comes to mind but maybe you have another suggestion.
Last week, I shared this Prayer of Illumination that is written as a corporate prayer for worship but could certainly be used in personal devotion for the preacher preparing for study or the family sharing in meal time meditation. Maybe this is the week where you make stress balls in worship and knead them through the Gospel Lesson. Or maybe you save that for next week.
That’s all I’ve got for this week. I’m praying for you, dear pastor. I’m praying for you so much.