Dear Christ Church Family,
I’m sharing a thought from the Gospel lesson for this morning. Listening to many of you this week, and assessing my own behavior, there is something Jesus does amid a miracle story, that makes it more important than the miracle itself. I hope you’ll notice it. If you’re also looking for a recommendation for a Psalm to pray today, I suggest Psalm 42, It’s unrelenting message of hope, even in the midst of despair, has made it one of my favorite, go-to prayers in difficult times for most of my life.
Thursday, March 19, 2020 RCL Daily Office Readings, Year 2
A message from Jesus: Are you unbelievably busy? Stay Prayed Up! I’ve noticed something going on in many of our lives this week; something that’s gotten even more intense than normal. It’s busyness! It seems almost counter-intuitive to a reasonable way of thinking. After all, aren’t we supposed to be sequestering ourselves, and cutting activities? Aren’t many more of us working remotely at home, or at least more so than we usually are? What I’m observing is that nearly everyone has actually become busier, rather than less so. For parents, you’re not just trying to juggle changes in your workload and scheduling, but now the kids are home and needing your organization skills to order their lives as well as your own. For our seniors, many of you are more on-line, seeking out community with friends, checking in on family, putting in more virtual time in front of The Screen, than you normally put into all these things when you can do them literally. Here at Christ Church, everyone, our Staff, our volunteer groups that order our worship services and fellowship groups, our Wardens, and Executive Committee, and Vestry, and others who are seeking how to keep everyone better connected and safe and well, are all putting in countless (I mean that term, countless, literally) hours right now, planning for how to be the Church in the midst of crisis: to still be our spiritual community where we can turn for help, and hope, and connection.
The fact is, many of us have become, or are becoming, even busier than we’ve ever been. That’s why I want us all to take note of something Jesus does in our Gospel lesson today; something he does even the midst of crisis as his life is getting downright hectic.
He prays! When the Disciples return from their mission of evangelism, before debriefing and reordering their ministry, he takes them into a time of prayer. When things get really crazy, as in the demand that he feed the 5,000 while lacking adequate resources, he pauses to pray. After the miracle happens, the first thing he does is take time to pray. At every opportunity Jesus Prays. He does so, not just in the midst of crisis, nor just to be restored after a particularly arduous day, but he also does it before things happen. For Jesus, prayer is where we get prepared for whatever may come, not just after it already has come. Jesus stays Prayed Up!
That’s what you and I are to do today. Make sure that prayer, connection with God, is where your day starts, continues, and ends. Even if there’s nothing particularly urgent now, pray! Start banking those prayers, so that, like Jesus, your spirit is ready in every moment for whatever may come.
* Commemorations in italics are from A Great Cloud of Witnesses; others are from Lesser Feasts & Fasts 2018.