Home Depot Prayers

It goes without saying: Worship has been dramatically altered by the pandemic. Some of these alterations have been less than desirable, of course, but some of them have also been worth celebrating. Among the gifts of the pandemic, I would suggest, is our increasing attentiveness to everyday work and workers. Over past months there has been a new energy given to our congregational prayers for front-line medical workers, for those who deliver online orders, and for staff in grocery stores. 

As we enter the new normal of worship in the days ahead, my hope is that our shared prayers for everyday work will be enriched and deepened—that we will remember that most of us participate in God’s mission through our everyday work; that our everyday vocations are a means by which we serve Christ in the world. As an encouragement in this direction, I offer these prayers for some of the workers I have encountered in just the past few weeks. 

O God who provides home and shelter, we lift to you those who install windows and doors. As they pry out old, rotted window frames, scattering dust and splinters of wood, they thwart drafts and mildew. As they install new windows and doors, they provide protection against wind and cold and rain and heat. Remind each one that their work with hammer and level and cordless driver are your work for the wellbeing of others. As we celebrate their work, O God, we also remember and pray for those who live without such protection from the elements; we pray for the coming kingdom of Jesus.

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God Hides in Plain Sight

God hidesThis sermon, preached yesterday, is largely based on the Introduction to Dean Nelson’s book God Hides in Plain Sight: How to See the Sacred in a Chaotic World.

Last week, in my final sermon on Ruth, I raised precisely the question that Nelson raises in his book. Coming across Nelson’s book this past week, it struck me that it would provide a great interlude before we move on to other themes in the weeks ahead.

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Let me begin this morning by sharing a simple, personal story that I shared with the Elders of the congregation at our meeting this past week.

Last weekend, Becky participated in a triathlon down at the Olympic Basin on Ile Notre Dame. It was what’s called a sprint triathlon – it is a shorter triathlon that involves a 750 meter swim in the Olympic basin, then a bike ride, and then a run.  I was there with our kids to watch Becky and to cheer her on. Continue reading