What has the Lord been stirring in you lately? I used to expect that God would deliver a personal message to me every day. I believe God can do this, particularly when we are reading scripture on a regular basis, but I’m finding in this season of my life, the Lord seems to stretch themes over months and seasons. How does the Lord speak to you? How has your personal relationship with God changed through different seasons of your life?
You probably already know that the Lord has called me to a communion prayer I lead for years at my last church in Medfield, MA. It goes like this:
In gratitude, in deep gratitude, for this moment, this meal, these people, we give ourselves to you. Take us out to live as changed people because we have shared the living bread and cannot remain the same.
I believe through this prayer, the Lord is calling me to celebrate all the beautiful people He has put in my life – this, of course, includes each one of you, and it also includes my children. While they challenge me daily, they will also never be this young again, and when I am tempted to wish the difficulties of little children away, this prayer reminds me of the precious nature of this moment.
The prayer reminds me, not only of our meals together as a congregation in communion, but the daily meals we share as a family (however chaotic they may be). Daily meals nourish us in a regular way, they are moments of pause and togetherness. When it’s time for dinner, the cell phones aren’t invited, the video games are silenced, and the homework stops. We sit face to face. We do our best to see each other. We are curious about each one’s day. We hear a story a second time as it is retold to the parent who didn’t hear it right after school. And of course, the scene is chaotic – someone needs more ketchup, the milk spills again, and the whining child (they rotate this role) is almost always excused to their room or the steps until they calm down. Daily meals allow these interactions. And every night, one of the boys offers the fastest prayer they can muster of thanks to God for the meal that may or may not lack a vegetable and might just be hot dogs or Kraft mac and cheese. But without Kraft mac and cheese, we wouldn’t stop and see each other and re-listen to the stories. Without the hot dogs, we would have stayed on our screens.
So, yes. I’m thankful, for all of you and for our little family. This moment (even the hard ones). This meal (even those lacking proper nutrition). These people (even my little ones that can sometimes bring me to tears).
Because, as the prayer says so well, we are changed people because of what Christ has done and we are called to go out into the world for the glory OF GOD.
Another version of this prayer of thanksgiving offers this commission:
Ask much of us, expect much from us, enable much in us, encourage many through us. May we dedicate our lives to your glory. Amen.
While it stresses me out a bit, it speaks to the fire within me that burns for Jesus. Use us Lord. In the mundane and in the critical moments, may we lean towards you for your glory.
Bless this year Lord. We offer it to you.
With love and care,