Do Not Be Afraid, little church.

If you happen to come across this blog at this point, you will find yourselves in the midst of a lot of prayer.  I am writing a prayer for Church, for communities, for families, every day in Lent.  As I’ve been doing this for about a week, I am finding they are much more intense, and are coming from a much more vulnerable space than I anticipated. I am finding that praying for The Church is praying for myself, is praying myself.

I pray out of fear sometimes.  I pray because I am afraid that the home I love will implode, like I’ve seen over and over before.  Implode because we cannot handle holding each other as we reach out from vastly different places of understanding who God is in our own lives.  Implode because the theology that grounds us all is not solidly and firstly rooted in love but in our own glory of being and doing something important.    Implode because of the tyrannical nature of certainty and our desire for it.  Those are fears.  From my own experience and from watching what happens in other places.  They come from remembering that exquisite pain that happens when our hearts and identities are involved in this seemingly messy business of being with God together.

I looked up “Do not be afraid” verses this weekend.  Do not be afraid, I am with you.  Over and over, that was the message.  In all sorts of circumstances–building temples, conquering armies, delivering very, very unpopular messages, taking leadership.  I think of Mary, of course, opening her door, opening her heart to the very God of very Gods, and being given, “Do not be afraid, you have found favour – I think you’re really great.”   I think of another Mary, at the tomb.  Every thing they expected, everything they hoped for, everything they thought God was going to be doing for them, with them, in their community had vanished in a horrible few days of anger, violence, power, control.  And there she was, in the ruins, walking among the dead and what she hears is “Do not be afraid. You don’t have to be afraid, what you are looking for is still here, still among the living.”

So I am praying, along with many others at my church.  For each other, for our pastors and our leaders, for our building, for our landlords, for our finances, for our families, for our city. For all the decisions we face that could be so ideologically charged.  For our differences.  For HOW we do this together, not always just the WHAT we do together.

And we all will pray too, for Your voice, to say to each one of us, like you said to Mary – “Do not be afraid, I am still here.  Do you see me?  Good, go get everyone and lets be together.  I will come to you. I will always come.  Wait for me, Look for me, Look at me.  I am All of yours and you are all mine.”

Today’s scripture reading is from Psalm 27 and it is our prayer today.

We will remain confident of this:  we will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.    Wait for the Lord, little family.  Be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.



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