Pastor’s Email Devotion
The Week of Pentecost 11
August 9, 2015
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:18, NRSV)
Many of you know I am a creature of routine … especially on Sunday mornings when I open the church. I start at the north end of the building, and work my way south opening hallway doors, turning on the Jumbotron, unlocking the mag door, disarming the security system, and a few other mundane tasks. I start every Sunday morning around 6 a.m. with this routine. It frames my Sunday mornings for me, as I think about the variety of activities that will find their locus point at any one of these stops. But one of the last things that I do, is turn on the AV panel in the church sanctuary, and push toggle # 5 on the AV board up to the halfway level. #5 is the spotlight that hits the altar front and center. I find it most striking in the winter, when it is still dark outside … but it is beautiful even in the dim light of the sanctuary during the summer. As I walk to the back of the center aisle to pick up the pitcher with which I put water in the font, I always stop for a short moment and say a quick prayer for the day ahead – I pray to God that we will recognize her presence in our midst … that we will see him in worship and education … and that we will connect with God’s spirit in the believers with whom we gather. It reminds me of the privilege of being in a Christian community, and the joys and sorrows that unfold in some proportion to each other every Sunday that our community gathers.
I have many other routines in life that offer me small windows into God’s spirit at work within me. Some are less regular than this one, but in their singularity, they are more powerful. Some are far more regular, and thus more easily taken for granted; yet their regular visitation to my soul, provides their own sense of spiritual sustenance, no matter how mundane they may feel on any given day. A few of these moments strike me deeply … many get lost in the shuffle of a busy world where I am easily distracted. But each is a moment … an opportunity … a wink from God to pay attention to the deeper realities of life … and I am grateful for that, even when I miss the immediate impact of those moments because of my sinful distraction.
So, I suppose what I invite you to consider this week, are those places in your life when God gives you a little wink or nudge about the blessing of the Holy Spirit in your life. Those places that you might easily miss, were there not a prayerful tape playing quietly in the back of your mind alerting you to the presence of God in the world. Maybe you too have a favorite routine, or time of the day, or particular discipline that easily co-opts your attention from everything else. Maybe the diversity of your experiences is what you love about the Spirit of God alive within you. It doesn’t matter what the deliver method is … just that the message gets through occasionally. Think about those places where you feel the touch of God’s hand through reflection, through others, through worship, through study, or through whatever ignites your spiritual fire. And give thanks for those moments.
Lord, give me the wisdom to see no good life comes without right discipline. Give me the grace to impose it upon myself lest others do it for me. Help me to discipline my tongue that I may be clear rather than clever, sincere instead of sarcastic. Help me to discipline my thinking and actions to do what is right and not what is easy. Let me get on with the job on hand doing the best I can and leaving the rest to you. Amen.
~~ From the “Your Catholic Guide” website