LABC Update – August 29, 2023
August 28, 2023
Pastoral Prayer (August 27, 2023)
By Dale Edmondson
Our God, we’re here again. We have, many of us, been here so many times. We’ve come, often it seems, weighed down with the weight of the world and at other times bursting with excitement and joy about something that has happened in our lives. Sometimes we’ve come confused and worried, trying to figure out what it’s all about, even whether it’s worth trying.
But we’re here again. Somehow being here with others changes things. It changes, the way we see things. Could it be that when we gather, somehow you become more present to us—that somehow our eyes are opened to see you and to see our world? We remember your son told us that when two or three of us are gathered, your divine presence is with us.
Some will say our coming together becomes a habit, and that habits loose their meaning. We confess that sometimes that’s true. That sometimes we’re here because “That’s just what we do.” But deep down we realize this: that habits provide structure for our lives. That they establish a place and a time for us to meet you (and even to wrestle with you) when we need you the most. Structure is a gift for life. The poet understood this when he prayed, “Let our ordered lives confess / the beauty of thy holiness.”
When we come together, we think of others who gathered before us. We see them in our mind—maybe our mother, or our father, or some elder meeting with others to praise you and to be confronted by you and to pray to you as we pray now. When we look way, way back, we observe your children coming together—sometimes in humble meeting houses, sometimes in great cathedrals, and even at times in secret places when the support of each other has meant life or death.
When we come together this morning we come within a long tradition of people like us who have sought you in ordinary times and in times of unanticipated crises. Be real to us today, O God. Be present. Be an upholding power. The concerns we come with today are personal and physical and social and intellectual.
Let us go from here filled when we’ve been empty; encouraged when we’ve been dis-spirited; whole when we’ve felt at war with ourselves. Help us join the ancient saint in saying, “You have made us for yourself, O God, and our hearts are restless until they find their peace in you.” Through Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.
Tonight on LABC Zoom – Pastor Jim leads Bible Study 6:00
Dial-in: 1 669 900 9128
Meeting ID: 859 909 5914