Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Blessed are those who mourn...

"Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted."
Jesus (Sermon on the Mount)  
In Good Times & Bad, Keep Praying...
by Rev Dr Durrell Watkins, Senior Minister

Many people have been in my thoughts and prayers lately. There are those who are on our prayer list (where they stay for four weeks at a time) as well as those in our congregation whose circumstances are known to me. I've been very mindful of some who are looking for work. I've been thinking of some who have been recovering from (or preparing to have) medical procedures. There have been injuries. There has been grief over the death of cherished loved ones (friends, relatives, even pets). Over and over my thoughts are filled with the words, "God bless him" or "May she soon discover joy again" or "I affirm blessings for them, trusting that divine Love holds them and will not let them go."

Sometimes the prayers seem to contribute to miracles. Sometimes, the prayers seem to offer comfort. And sometimes the prayers seem to do little other than to help the one praying feel as if loving concern prayerfully expressed might somehow make a bit of difference that cannot yet be felt or seen. Still, in prayer I remember that "there's not a spot where God is not."

When we remember our unity with God, we are much more likely to experience hope, joy, and fulfillment; and even when outcomes disappoint, there remains the divine gift of inner peace and self-worth which were not given to us by life's circumstances nor can they be taken away by life's circumstances. As the Apostle Paul said, "If we live we live for the Lord; if we die we die with the Lord. So, whether we live or die we are the Lord's!" In more contemporary verbiage we might say, "I am never separate from divine Life. No matter what happens in life, I am Eternity expressing in time; I am an individuation of perfect, universal Wholeness."

Today I have been praying for one of our deacons and his life-partner. I heard this morning that John was suddenly very ill. Updates throughout the day were consistently discouraging. Finally, this evening, I received a call saying that John made his transition from this experience of life to the next. His partner, Deacon Ed, is one of our faithful diaconal care-givers who provide pastoral care and comfort to congregants when they are in need. Today, my heart is heavy for Deacon Ed and I continue to pray for his comfort, for his strength, for his pain to soften over time into beautiful memories, for his grief to become a healing process that leads him gently back to abundant joy.

Perhaps you have been blessed by Ed reading the gospel or praying for our various intentions in worship. Perhaps you have been encouraged by him or have known about his ministry to seniors. So, I am asking you to hold Deacon Ed in your heart in the days ahead, and bless him with your love.
Dear God, the light that we knew as 
John shines throughout eternity, forever blessed by the Love that you are. And so we give thanks even as we ask you to hold 
Deacon Ed in your tender care and keeping and offer him the comfort he needs in the days to come. Amen. 

No comments: