Pastor’s Email Devotion
The Week of Lent 1
February 22, 2015
His blessing covers the dry land like a river,
and drenches it like a flood. (Ecclesiasticus 39:22, NRSV)
Well … maybe like a snowfall, instead of a flood. But the truth of the verse remains in that God’s blessings abound. I was struck by that truth in recent days in a number of ways ….
On Thursday we laid to rest one of our saints, Miriam Rudy. Her surviving relatives amounted to three nephews on the west coast who could not make it to the service. Three or four of her bridge playing friends came along with a couple of neighbors from the retirement community in which she spent her last ten years. And another 35-40 members of St. Peter’s came, many that did not even know Miriam. But when people knew that we hoped to have a small congregation to honor her, they came out to worship. I was so proud of our congregation and their support for Miriam. I felt blessed to be there.
Early, this morning when I sent out the e-blast about the parking lot I knew that some would have to choose to stay home. One of those members sent me back an email and picked up on my silly comment about singing “In the Bleak Midwinter.” She wrote about her father, an avid choir member when he was alive, who would always complain that he would have to sing “In the Bleak Midwinter” in January or February after the Christmas lights and music were long gone, and everyone was struggling with the winter blahs. She then wrote, “I hear that song and it makes me chuckle. Thanks for having me think of my Dad and smile this “bleak” morning.” And I was blessed again, in such a simple, yet touching way.
Later this morning in our Crosspoints class, we had a discussion about our worship life at St. Peter’s. We found a number of ways to engage what we understand to be the priorities for our worship life … we had ample opportunities to voice our own preferences and passions for worship … we listened to those things that brought excitement to our worship life … and we recognized and affirmed the vast diversity of opinions and points of view in the room, with genuine respect and interest. Although it was a small group, I was proud of the way everyone participated in the discussion, and I found myself blessed yet again by those around me.
So, what are your blessings today? Do they involve groups of people or individuals? Are they events that others would notice, or ones that might only be appreciated by you? Do they involve ordinary events in life or extraordinary ones? Are they private or public? Are the expected or surprising in nature? They are there, have no doubt. Our God is an abundant God who showers the world with blessings, whether we always recognize them or not. So in your prayer life today, consider being a grateful child of God who recognizes the irreplaceable gift of having a loving God. Pray for eyes that see and ears that hear and a heart that receives.
God of all blessings, source of all life: I thank you for the gift of life: for the breath that sustains life, for the food of this earth that nurtures life, for the love of family and friends without which there would be no life. I thank you for this day: for one more day to love, for neighbors and one more person to love and by whom be loved, for your grace and for one more experience of your presence. Amen.
~~ Vienna Cobb Anderson