Happening Now Blog

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Wednesday Message

When Jesus prays…..

The gospel reading for this coming Sunday is again from John's story of the life of Jesus, continuing with the last few words of Jesus prayer for his followers, the last words before Jesus went to the garden where he would be arrested. Two things have always struck me about this short passage.

First, Jesus prays for us. After praying for God's presence with his disciples, Jesus prays "for those who will believe in me through their word"; that's you and me. That is the church, those who live to follow the teachings of Christ in their lives as individuals, as members of the community of faith and as members of society, the world around them.

Jesus' prayer entrusts those whom he loves, particularly his disciples and followers to God's care.

Second, Jesus prays for the disciples and us "so that the world may believe that you sent me". Jesus prayers are for the sake of the world, as ELCA Bishop Mark Hansen so often reminded preachers. Faith is not for our individual sentimentality or assurance (although that is part of what we experience) but so that the world may experience the real presence of God.

Jesus' prayer calls those whom he loves, particularly his disciples and followers, back into the world.

My grandmother (the Norwegian one) kept prayer diaries throughout her adult life. No one, not even her daughters, was aware of this practice: she believed that "wearing one's faith on their sleeve cheapens it" as she once explained to me. As she aged her mind began to fail as her brain started to wear out. After she was moved into a facility where she could receive the level of constant care she needed for her safety, her daughters cleaned out her house. They found this amazing collection that reflected her spiritual discipline. She kept track of her prayers and how they were answered; not always how she expected, maybe not in ways she wanted, but how God was revealed in the answers as they were revealed. Her diaries had nothing to do with how often she got her way with God but were a constant confession about God's presence in the world and in her own life in community.

When we pray so we entrust our cares and concerns to God and releasing our desires and wants to God's way of responding? Too often I suspect my prayers are more about what I want and when and how I want it. Too often my prayers, I suppose, are about letting God know what I think the right way is for God to be about God's business. The longer I practice, though, the more often I am able in some way to release my concerns to the God I trust to be God.

Jesus entrusts us to God's care for the sake of the world God so loves. May all my prayers be summed up in this along the way.

PD

*******************************************************************************
THIS WEEK

Wednesday  7:00 am Coffee Group at Bethany Starbucks

Friday          5:00 pm  Women's Bible Study at SOV

Saturday    9:30 am Choir rehearsal
                   3:00 pm Memorial service for Cal Sugyima's Mother,  All are welcome

Sunday     10:00 am One Service
                  11:00 am Annual Congregational Meeting and election

Please plan to attend the Annual Congregational Meeting this Sunday following worship at 10:00 am

All Church Luncheon
Thursday, June 6th
Elmer's Restaurant

Next Saturday, June 8th
Transport 5 Concert and Spaghetti Dinner
If you have not done so and plan to attend the dinner please RSVP to Tammy or directly to Linnea

Sunday, June 16th
One Service at 10:00 am
Confirmation Sunday
Pentecost Sunday