This Week at Trinity, Beamsville
Friday, February 25, 2022
This week’s edition is in its second take. The first was set in the magic of saved documents; written ahead then released on time. “By the time you read this, I’ll be most of the way through a week of vacation…” That’s still true, but yesterday’s news out of Ukraine made the pre-composed feel quite out of tune – or at least eerily silent on some matters. None of what follows will make everything right again, but some things can’t be left undone. So, here goes with the modest rewrite, and then I’ll slip away for another few days.
What I’d planned was a little reflection on indwelling; about God’s persistent invitation to dwell at the centre of our lives. I mused on the close of another worship season, the celebration of Transfiguration, and this new yet familiar place of prepared waiting, with Lent. I told you all about this year’s Ash Wednesday – a service at home inviting God to be our home – and a little more of the season beyond that. I waxed on a bit out ‘tikkun olam’, from a seminar by Jennifer Wallace and the practice of raising the sparks. By way of edits, I’ve moved all of that last bit to March 6th, trusting you won’t mind. For Ash Wednesday plans, I’ll send an email on February 28th instead, and will try to take it one day at a time.
In place of all that, I will offer a simple prayer. I didn’t write it, but I do pray it most mornings. It stays on our fridge, facing the swirling of each day, and that’s usually when it catches my heart: while the first cup of tea is steeping, and I’m trying to settle myself, to resist pacing, over-planning, racing into the day of tasks. There, in that sacred space, is where I find these words that, almost by their own admission, do not pretend to wrap this life’s, this world’s worries into a tidy box with a bow. Instead, they hold us in the promise of what is possible, even with all that confounds. Especially when I feel so powerless, so bewildered with sorrow at quests for power, unleashing misery and suffering on innocents… that is when I need these words the most. They help me to claim what can be done, right from this place.
So here on the edge of this year’s Lent, this season of giving up and taking up, let’s accept, together, God’s invitation to rise. Let us rise and mend, with all that we’ve been given by God, who chooses to rise and mend, again and again. For all that is fractured, in body, mind, spirit; for all who are left in fear and mourning, in Ukraine, Russia, and countless communities caught in the crossfire of evil; for all that is still possible, with an unrelenting pursuit of peace; for all that defies words, always: let us rise and mend. Let us rise to this next occasion.
With love to you all,
When I wake up each day
let gratitude stir and strengthen me, O God.
Let it draw me to goodness and hold me there…
There, where your Spirit sings,
“Go define love today,”
and my heart chooses to rise to the occasion. Amen.
(Mission & Service, The United Church of Canada)