Pondering the Blessing of Change
As we enter this last month of summer, at least as understood by anyone in school, my heart is filled with gratitude. I have been and continue to be warmly received by Glenwood United Parish and Glenwood's people. The parsonage has been a Godsend offering respite from the typical noises of the urban life. I am also already seeing spiritual growth in our congregation. This and much more make my heart feel full. Thank you! My heart is also full because I am daily reminded of the steadfastness of the God we serve. Who knew even four years ago when I was completing my Ph.D. and planning on seeking a tenured position at a university or college that I would be turned back to God's first commitment, that of full-time service? At the time, I was still ministering, for sure, but it was not at least during the week a public ministry. I considered myself in those days an uncollared minister. Students at the community colleges and universities needed prayer and spiritual support as much as anyone I have met, but this is not allowed unless a student specifically asks for that kind of help. I spent, in one position 28 years navigating the “separation between church and state” so that I could be faithful to my calling as a teacher in the public realm as well as my calling as a Christian to be a representation of God’s love and grace. It is quite freeing to be able to proudly wear a collar, whether visible or not! This is something for which I am also very grateful.
Looking forward to the Fall, I am reminded of verses from Psalm 145 in which David sings, “The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does. The Lord upholds all who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down. The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time. You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.” (verses 13b-18; NIV) My pondering for this time, which ends one season and begins another, is focused on these verses. What would it mean to live our lives as if we truly believed God was faithful and trustworthy? How have you experienced being lifted up? In what ways have you been nourished in the past season? What are nourishment needs do you Have for the next season? As you ponder these questions, I pray that God will open the eyes of your understanding and that you might fully experience refreshment, and having your desires satisfied be strong enough to enter into the next season, whatever season that might be.
Prayer: Please pray with me. “God who hears my needs and is quick to answer be with me and work in and through me to inspire, to heal, and to bring make your heavenly kingdom a reality. Amen.