I take a few deep breaths and feel my weigh sink into the chair. I continue to breath as I am typing. I let my thoughts gather to be present to this moment.
"I ask for the grace to pray and meditate faithfully. I ask for patience, tolerance, gentleness, empathy, and compassion. I ask to abstain from anger, anxiety, compulsive behaviour, discouragement, arrogance, and self-importance. I ask to know and follow Jesus more closely, seeking justice, loving kindness, and walking humbly."
6 On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples
a feast of rich food, a feast of well-matured wines,
of rich food filled with marrow, of well-matured wines strained clear.
7 And he will destroy on this mountain
the shroud that is cast over all peoples,
the sheet that is spread over all nations;
8 he will swallow up death for ever.
Then the Lord God will wipe away the tears from all faces,
and the disgrace of his people he will take away from all the earth,
for the Lord has spoken.
1) "...all peoples;" "...a feast of rich foods;" "...he will destroy...the shroud... over all people;" "...swallow up death forever;" "...the disgrace of his people he will take away;"
2) My first thought is, "I'm looking forward to Trump and his followers being taken way from all the earth." I'm aware of the discouragement I've felt the last couple days. Last night we heard from a colleague who traveled with our Mission and Service unit to Kenya. There's some context. Where people have stopped talking about the famine/drought, and just call it "the hunger" now. Women who need safe houses against genital mutilation. LGBT people who can only meet with our church representatives late at night after dark because if they are caught by their own government, they risk losing appendages. In the day to day of our church board life, it's too easy to lose sight of why we do what we do and that we are doing important things. We are, in fact, saving lives. I don't need to look to Africa to see life saving work going on. Today down the hall, hungry people are being fed, brought in from the wet for a few hours, taking home hampers of food for a couple weeks, receiving clothing and household items. I've already heard of three people saved from fentanyl because we've hosted naloxone training sessions. A refugee family from Syria will be arriving any week now. Little by little, we participate in removing disgrace.
3) What is the invitation in all this? To stay focused on the mission and do what needs to be done to achieve the mission.
"Holy One, help us to help you wipe away the tears from all faces and the disgrace of your peoples."
Breathprayer: "Swallow up death... forever."