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Musings, Thursday October 17th 2019: Persistence in Gratitude

Musings… It’s been a full week and its not that I’ve been remiss in my musing… only that I’ve been remiss in putting anything to paper. Perhaps you’ve enjoyed the break!

It seems like this week and into next is keeping before me the themes of gratitude and persistence – themes that I hope are evident as ballots are cast on Monday and we watch the results come in – realizing that if the polls are any indication, every vote will count and that it will be late into the night or even the next morning before we have a sense of what the make up of our next Federal government will look like.

The reading for this Sunday, from Luke’s gospel (Luke 18:1-8), begins with these words: “Then Jesus told them a parable about their need to pray always and not to lose heart.” and the epistle reading from Paul’s second letter to Timothy (2 Timothy 3:14-4:5) begins with “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it…” and I was led to remember who it was who began to teach me about prayer and voting: my father and grand-father – and yes, the two went hand in hand!

Prayer I’ve learned is not about changing the world or about somehow petitioning or persuading the Divine to change one situation or another in a way that I deem acceptable. But rather, prayer is learning to see the Divine’s desire and love for us – and learning to desire wellness for ourselves and the world. Said another way, the act of prayer, written, spoken or silent, seeks justice and transformation through, first of all, the transformation of ourselves into just beings, who are just because we are formed by the desires of God for us. And such prayer should inform our politics and the direction we cast our vote.

What have you learned? And who have you learned it from? What is your desire for yourself and this country and world that you share with others? As you prepare to cast your ballot on Monday may you do so as an act of prayer – rooted in a desire for the wellness and wholeness for all of creation and its creatures.

Cast your ballot on Monday and may it be a fulfilment of that (now empty to many) platitude: ‘thoughts and prayers’.

Faithfully, Lloyd

PS: I’ll be expanding on my thoughts above on Sunday based on the excellent conversation that was shared during the Weekly Lectionary Bible Study on Tuesday morning!

Highlights Monday was a day off. I spent the day on the Island with Ai (a student from Japan that we are hosting as part of the NS International Student Program). We visited the Confederation Centre, Province House, North Rustico and Cavendish (including Anne of Green Gables) and had lunch with my mom and dad. She had her first Beaver Tail and Cows ice cream. It is a joy to experience some things I take for granted with her excitement.

Tuesday was spent in meetings and visits.

Wednesday found me at the hospitals in Sackville and in Moncton doing visits follow by the Soul Supper at 5:30 where we listened to Diana Butler Bass talk about Where Is God and than shared in an animated discussion about our own experiences and understandings. Have a look at the clip by following the link above and consideri joining us next Wednesday where we’ll talk about the Table of Gifts and share a pot of seafood chowder.

Today, after finally writing this note early this morning, I’ll be off doing some visits (hopefully done before the storm arrives) and then be working from home finishing up the liturgy and reflection for Sunday.

Friday will be a day off as will the bulk of Saturday, interrupted only by a conference call with other General Council Commissioners around noon for an hour or so.

On Sunday I look forward to our gatherings at Upper Sackville United Church at 9AM and Sackville United Church at 11AM. At the 11AM gathering there is an opportunity for adults to take part in a Godly Play session (a great option if you don’t want to here me expand on my thoughts above)!

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