Midweek Message

Tuesday, August 18

Jim Hopkins

August 17, 2020


If we weren’t on edge already, the current thunder storms, heat wave and accompanying threat of fire in Northern California have worked together to addanother level of concern to our lives.

Again we are provided ample reason to delve into the resources of our faith in order to find encouragement and direction. In addition to the daily services and studies offered by LABC I have found the words and insights in the following links to be most meaningful. I trust that they will be food for your hearts, mind and spirits.

Love Abides,

Jim H.

Calling on the ancestors with Phyllis Hill and Deth Im

August 17, 2020

Dear Friends,

“I believe that it is impossible to grasp all the different forms of prayer without great purity of heart and soul. There are as many forms of prayer as there are states of soul. A person pays in a certain manner when cheerful and in another when weighed down by sadness or a sense of hopelessness. When one is flourishing spiritually, prayer is different from when one is oppressed by the extent of one’s struggles.”
– John Cassian

Let us continue together in prayer.

As we pray to God who loves us most, we pray that today’s prayers will reach and encourage the ones who need them the most. We would love to hear from you. If you have a prayer to contribute please send to cdudley@abcmny.org.

Yours in Christ,

Questions for your reflection:What was the most difficult thing about yesterday or today?How did God’s presence surprise or comfort you today?

Dignity for Such a Time as This[i]

But he thought it beneath him to lay hands on Mordecai alone. So, having been told who Mordecai’s people were, Haman plotted to destroy all the Jews, the people of Mordecai, throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus.
-Esther 3:6

God of Those who Have Been Targeted,

We thank you for your unfailing love and your faithfulness in our lives. We pray that our love for you will not falter, as we continue to live in challenging times. We thank you for our lives, and we pray that we might be ready to see and respond to opportunities that you reveal.

Thank you for placing persons in strategic spots in any given moment to advocate for, protect, and help assure the dignity of your people throughout the Bible and throughout history. We thank you for Hadassah[ii], who we know as Esther. You have from time to time shifted the day-to-day realities of those you want to be in place when the time is right. In those times, we pray that they will not forget who they are and whose they are. Such was true for Hadassah-Esther and for her mentor, Mordecai. We pray, too, that we will never forget whose we are.

God through the Ages, do we have another Esther among us now who will help divert the suffering of her people? Hadassah, chosen among other contenders, became Esther when she took the qualities she had been endowed and mixed it with experience she gained along the way. With the tutelage of one who knew what it would take, she prepared for consideration and preparation for an essential life-changing role. Should Ms. Kamala Harris be elected VP—and even if she is not—she will be fulfilling an important purpose. There are various groups of people who see and claim her as one of their own. She is her own person, yet she is not just her own.

We are not the kind of country who has kings, yet there are some who believe they are, and rule as if all authority is in their hands. They do damage, yet allauthority is not in their hands, O God, but in Yours. Are you setting the stage and prompting players to fulfill other purposes and tend to the needs of their people in such a time as this? We pray that you are.

(Take a moment to pray for the people of this country and the political atmosphere here we are experiencing.)

Every person may seek to be the master or mistress of their house, but you, O God, are the architect, builder, and finisher of the houses of the faithful. You inhabit the spaces between the walls in our homes, as well as the spaces between the homes and hearts of others in this country. You are present in the streets of our City, the suburbs and the countryside. You knock on the doors of our hearts and bid us to open them, to listen, to learn, and to love our neighbors’ lives as much as our own. When you know, we want to hear you and be glad to be in Your good Company; enable us to do Your will.

O God, election seasons are brutal. We can barely stand it, and don’t like what emerges within us and what we become during election season. Many of us do not like what the country seems to become with results of the electorate. Yet, we are compelled as citizens of heaven and earth to engage. We beseech Thee, O God, for the soul of our nation, and the inhabits herein.

May Your Grace be sufficient to quench our thirst for justice and peace. May each of us not annihilate our own spirits in pursuit of the public good, or extinguish the spirits of neighbors, family members, friends, allies, and even those that we don’t agree with as we pursue our understanding of the truth. Give us the strength to not throw our convictions and values asunder, and in the name of Jesus, compelled by our faith, live all our lives in all that we do in service to you, Amen.

Rev. Dr. Cheryl F. Dudley
Regional Executive Minister
August 17, 2020
[i] Esther 4:14[ii] Esther 2:17

P. S. Prayers today for Pastor Allison as she stands for justice for the incarcerated in an online meeting with Governor Newsom.