|photo by Jacob Lawitzki / flickr|
(Last Sunday I was asked to give the Pastoral Prayer at our church. The theme was light. The backdrop of course is a stormy election and a divided people. So I tried to lift up some of these feelings and some of the feelings of those that came to Church. I often say if you come to church and you go away not being reminded of anything going on in this troubled world--you just might not have worshipped at all.)
Light of the world—We come to you today with many things. All around us there are shadows and darkness. We are still in a war that seems to have no end. Too many of our boys and girls still come home in boxes. We fear terrorists—and cannot understand the darkness of ISIS. We cannot understand those leaders who drive out thousands and thousands of their own people. And they have no place to go. And Lord, the world looks very dark indeed.
Meanwhile we here at home are a divided people and we know about darkness. We have an election which has further divided us—and we know about darkness. We come here on Sundays—and we bring with us the things of our lives. Children…parents…health problems…frazzled relationships…depression…the grief of missing…missing someone who has gone on before us. Lord, we know about darkness.
But here the light shines through these windows. Here we are reminded through songs and scripture and prayers and sermons that still there is that shining light. Here we look around us at faces who have been through hard battles but are here today still smiling and are still standing—and the darkness of our lives and our time does not look so dark. Here, Lord we bring our darkness. We would love to leave it behind—but we can’t do that. It follows us everywhere on TV and newspapers and computers and phones—the darkness of the world…the darkness that sometimes seems to be everywhere.
John told us that the light shines in the darkness and the darkness cannot put it out. Ever. There are days when we don’t believe that. When life presses down on us too hard or on those we love—we are not sure that light shines in every broken place.
But here—in the silence and the songs and in this hour—shine Jesus shine. Shine Jesus shine. Until we leave here knowing that regardless of what happens in the world or in our hearts—the light, the kindly light of God is here…leading us step by step.
Take this little light of ours, which seems so tiny and inconsequential and blow on it until it shines not only for us but for those around us. And may we know—nothing out there…or nothing in our hearts or our world can separate us from the light and love of God.
Light of the world—be our light. Light of the world. Lead us one and all. We thank you for this.
This is why we come and this is why we are here. AMEN.
--Roger Lovette / rogerlovette.blogspot.com