As I reflect on the past few weeks of worship; Rally Day, our Reformation Celebrations, the blessing of quilts and kits, the gifts of the Saints, and the burning of the mortgage papers, I find that our life together is rich with God’s blessings. As a congregation we are truly blessed. As we go forward into the holiday season I hope that we will remember those for whom this season is dismal. Perhaps they are missing a loved one whose chair will be empty, it may be that the holidays are not filled with pleasant memories but family strife or the financial pressures of the season are overwhelming.
I’m participating in a continuing education study group that meets each Wednesday at noon. (I do enjoy connecting with colleagues throughout the synod, even if it is limited to electronic meetings.) The book was written by Rachel Held Evans. It is entitled Searching for Sunday. In it is a poem by Alcuin of York. The name was unfamiliar to me. I had to do a little Wikipedia search. He lived between 735-804 AD. He was known as a scholar, teachers, clergyman, and poet in the court of Charlemagne. His words ring true today. It is my hope and prayer that they will ring true with you as well.
God, go with us. Help us to be an honor to the church.
Give us the grace to follow Christ’s word,
to be clear in our task and careful in our speech.
Give us open hands and joyful hearts.
Let Christ be on our lips.
May our lives reflect a love of truth and compassion
Let no one come to us and go away sad.
May we offer hope to the poor,
and solace to the disheartened.
Let us walk before God’s people,
That those who follow us might come into his kingdom.
Let us sow living seeds, words that are quick with life,
that faith may be the harvest in people’s hearts.
In words and in example let your light shine
in the dark like the morning star.
Do not allow the wealth of the world or its enchantment
flatter us into silence as to your truth.
Do not permit the powerful, or judges,
or our dearest friends
To keep us from professing what is right. Amen.