NOV. 11, 2020
Prayer is a vulnerable project.
Step back a moment to consider the audacity of the thing: In prayer, meager human beings set out to connect our hearts, minds, strengths and souls with the source of all life and creation. Talk about ambitious!
One psalmist articulates how ludicrous this can all feel: “When I consider the heavens, the works of your fingers, the moon and stars in their courses ... who am I that you would be mindful of me?”
Cynics point to this preposterous ambition as its central weakness, yet the inclination towards prayer is an ancient and constant word of “nevertheless.”
Suffering exists: nevertheless. Futility always seems to get the last word: nevertheless. The world isn’t always as it should be: nevertheless, we persist in hope. Suffering and futility never get the last word on us.
To pray is to become vulnerable to the Divine reality of nevertheless.
We are shaped by the daily postures we assume. We are shaped by the positions that our bodies take as we move through the world, as they are bent over by the forces around us. As a pastor, I have become deeply concerned with the spiritual damage that persistent postures of division inflict upon us as communities and individuals.
This inclination towards division has become such a mainstay of American punditry, political speech and water-cooler conversation (or maybe in 2020 we’d say Zoom conversation) that to let the word “unity” dribble out of one’s mouth is to welcome, even to expect, mockery and derision by the cynical.
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