“Almighty God, you who are the source of our life, strength, and ministry. In your presence alone we find help, hope, and life. Send us as a healing reminder of your love to all whose lives we touch this day.”
“I stand by the door — I neither go too far in, nor stay too far out,
The door is the most important door in the world — it is the door through which people walk when they find God. There’s no use my going way inside, and staying there,
when so many are still outside and they, as much as I, crave to know where the door is.
And all that so many every find is only the wall where a door ought to be.
They creep along the wall like the blind, with outstretched groping hands.
Feeling for a door, knowing there must be a door, yet they never find in…
So I stand by the door. The most tremendous thing in the world is for people to find that door — the door to God.
The most important thing anyone can do is to take a hold of one of those blind, groping hands, and put it on the latch.” - Samuel Moor Shoemaker
It’s been a tough few weeks in the news, my friends. Regardless of your vantage point — and I am certain we have people in our community who sit on all sides of the political aisle — I know that many of us have found ourselves confused, frustrated, frightened, or angry. Some of us have found ourselves triggered by past trauma or anxious about the state of our common life together as a country and world. And I’ll bet there are as many of us who chose to shut off the news this week for the sake of some sanity, while others of us can’t seem to tear ourselves away.
Each Sunday, we are called into a worship space to be reminded that we serve a God who simultaneously wants us to become aware of the world, its deep need, and our responsibility to it and each other — and who also does not want us to become so consumed by hopelessness in the wake of the world’s weighty devastation that we cease being a light and source of hope in it.
Part of my (sometimes irregular) morning routine is to read something with spiritual depth while I drink my first cup of coffee. I call it my devotional or quiet time. The two quotes above were a part of my devotional time this week — and reminded me that with all the need in the world around us, we are each called to be a healing presence of hope. We are called to be people who find our hope, our help, our life in God — so that we can help those struggling find a doorway… a window… even a tiny crack… to God too. But how — when the need of the world feels so consuming?
Sometimes, it requires us to carve time out of our busy lives to slow down and hear a word from God. In angry times, it might mean praying for peace in our own spirits and for our neighbors with whom our anger is directed. In times of loneliness, it might mean befriending someone who is lonely. In times of deep trauma, it might mean finding the resources to work toward healing. In times of violence, it means raising our voices for the victims. In times of poverty, it means offering our lives to the needy. In times of climate devastation, it means caring for our neighbors and working toward a healthier planet.
In these ways, we can draw closer to the doorways of God, so that we know where they are when its time to point someone else to them. My greatest prayer for our community is that we would become one gapping-wide doorway of welcome, love,
radical hospitality, and service — so that all who walk in might know the presence of God — and all of us who walk out will carry the light of God for people all over our communities who are dying for a little bit of hope today.
I hope to see many of you at our House Talk this Sunday after worship, as we begin conversations about how we will continue to become the community God has called us to be.
Grace & peace to you, my friends.
See you Sunday!