Thursday, May 23, 2013

Pray! Pray!

Recently Livia began saying the prayer that for the past few years we have been sharing with her at dinner.  Now, she recites it before every meal - reminding us - and on Monday we said it twice.  She hasn't figured out that you say it before she begins eating (which is the moment food is placed before her) but she does boldly participate once we have sat down.

It is wonderful! Kids come to God with such an excitement that we adults have lost.  At dinner at a restaurant recently Livia reminded us loudly when the bread had arrived that we needed to pray.  Although it is our practice to pray while out, I did think that volume seemed to put me out a bit. 

When I asked you all to make the list of 50 things that you were grateful for, I was asking you to do a pretty big task because to come up with 50 things you have to start getting pretty specific.  When it comes to praying, as adults we put to much into the words we say or the thoughts behind them instead of the enthusiasm in which we own the prayer.

Our food time prayer is pretty simple and yet it states everything we want to say.  Recently I was at a meeting in which I needed to pray and afterwards someone said that they wished they could just pray - and I encouraged them to just start practicing.  Usually Prayer is considered a practice - and I think it can hold both meanings.

If you don't pray regularly at meals when not start? If you don't pray at night, try it.  And if you can't think of anything to say, remember simple is always best.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Never a Last Meal With God

This past Sunday, as we celebrated Mother's Day I preached from the scripture 1 Kings 17 and the widow women who had faith, trusted that God would provide and gave up her last meal to Elijah only to have his prophet come true - that her oil and flour wouldn't run out for the length of the famine.  As it was mothers day, I emphasized the trusting that God will provide for us and that like a mother how puts her children first, we should put God first in our lives so that we may be shown the miracle of grace.

After church several of you shared times when you put God first and truly God did provide.  Such power in all your stories prove what an amazing God we do have.

During reflecting on this, I couldn't help but see the connection between the last "supper" this women was making for her and her son and Jesus' last meal with his disciples and today our shared communion.  Putting her faith in God and that God would provide, the widow didn't face her last meal or her death.  Because of Jesus, we will one day overcome death. The last meal he shared with his disciples on the night of his arrest wasn't really the last meal he would share with them or with anyone - in fact it is within this special time that we take to remember and open ourselves to Jesus that Jesus is revealed to us and continues to be a real presence at theses meals today.  What a powerful thought: when we accept Jesus and believe / have faith we never face our last meal, God always has something in store for us.  Even in our darkest moments - in the face of death and despair if we choose to trust and put God first, God will provide.

Between Easter and Pentecost - 50 days - I asked that each of you wrote down and kept track of 50 things we are grateful for - 50 thanksgivings and praises.  They could be detailed, they could be just words, they could be pictures or lists, however you want.  This is to reminded us of all that we have and in a real and visible way show us how God does continue to provide for us in our lives. The first step to putting God first is trusting and often to trust we need proof, so here are 50 proofs that God provides for us in our lives.  I hope that you are working on them so that you can bring them to worship on Sunday.