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Archive for November, 2013

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I’m always asked to say the prayer at the table on holidays.

Inevitable, I suppose, when your family sees you as being in the Religion         business.  Usually, I just make something up on the spot, as everyone glances longingly at the sweet potatoes and turkey, but I often wish later I had said something more thoughtful, especially on this most philosophical of secular holidays – a day rooted in memory and gratitude.

If you are the “pray-er” in your family, have the courage to do something less bland this year!  Consider this prayer by the writer Brian McLaren:

Let us give thanks for this meal and for this day;

For this breath, for this heartbeat,

for the gift of these companions.

For this nourishment and flavor,

for soil and sunlight, air and rainfall,

for all to whom this food connects us,

from field to farm and store to table. 


As we share this meal together,

may our thirst for peace be strengthened

and our hunger for justice deepened,

 until all are fed, and safe, and well.
 

We thank you, Living God for everything we name now:  (people will speak up, I promise you) …

 Amen.

Embellish as you wish and feel.  The prayer is more than an appetizer.

As for me, I am grateful for all of you who read and listen to my words time and again and who understand what it means to me to be able to say them, for your generous hearts and searching minds.  I am grateful for your care for the clergy and staff and for each other, and for this community and building we call church.

Most of all, I am grateful for your willingness to increase your faith, by trusting all of the things that can be named but not proven by fact or formula.  In that spirit, I offer you these words from one of my most profound spiritual mentors, Bishop Steven Charleston:

“I have made it through some hard times in my life. I imagine you have too. Looking back, I can honestly say that there was more than one of those times when I was not sure I would make it. What got me through was the presence of a living and conscious love that I can only call God. So my faith is not the product of an emotional need or an intellectual imagining. I believe because I know. Because I have been there. Because of my experience. I cannot convince others of this truth. I can only share it and wait to see the light of memory in their eyes.

From the pulpit, I see this light in your eyes….more and more. Trust it.

See you in church.

Barbara

 

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