Good Luck Storming the Castle!
But when you pray, go to your room, shut the door, and pray to your Father who is present in that secret place. – Matthew 6: 6a CEB
Welcome to Lent-that time of intentional deepened spirituality when we do our best to focus our spirits and lives on God through
fasting, sacrifice, and prayer. For some of us, prayer IS a sacrifice… but that’s another newsletter.
As your community of faith, we feel it is incumbent upon us to facilitate that Lenten discipline in every possible way. And being aware that the demands of the world are many, we have set up a place here in our church – our Parish Hall to be exact – for you to come and pray. You’ll find it in our lounge, on the far wall. We have an altar, and a kneeler, and a candle, and there you go! All set!
When you drop by to pray, you’ll be in the room right next to the office, which is sort of a busy place. You’ll be able to hear the phone ring, the doors open, and muffled voices. There will issues, problems, love, and cooperation going on, and bits and pieces of it might intrude slightly.
Oh…that quiet you were hoping for won’t be available during the school day. Those sweet little voices from up the stairs will surround you as children learn, grow, and occasionally scream like banshees. You’ll be able to hear them and the patient but firm voices of their teachers as they are nurtured and loved.
The thing about this prayer area is that it is in a room with lots of windows, so the light is great. And you can hear all sorts of things – children in the park, people walking past the church on the sidewalk, folks having a bit of a chat in the parking lot…I guess there’s no getting away from the community.
So…yeah. For your Lenten prayer discipline, we won’t be much help offering you a place away from the demands of the world. But we are offering you a place in the midst of a world that really sort of needs prayer – the work of the church, the children we love, the community we serve.
Someday, perhaps, we’ll have a place set aside – a chapel or something of the like – where we can truly go to be alone with God in the quiet depths of prayer and worship. Nothing to disturb or distract us. Right now, the only place that qualifies would be the Power Room/Janitor Closet. But for now, we offer you a place to be apart from, yet a part of, the world around us. We offer a place where you can come with the intention of engaging God in prayer for your own spiritual wellbeing, but will probably find yourself engaging in prayer for the wellbeing of everyone and everything bothering you.
It works, though. God knows your intentions, probably before you do, and God answers prayer.
Good luck with everything. I’ll be praying for you as soon as the dogs stop barking next door, and the copy machine quits running, and its nap time… Or maybe I’ll just pray for you in the middle of it, because we’re never out of the middle of it. And neither is God!
Printable version of this newsletter: Newsletter March 2018