Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Prayer for those suffering with COVID-19

"You shall not fear the terror of the night
nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that roams in darkness,
nor the plague that ravages at noon."
-- Psalm 91:5-6

Merciful God, 
hear our fervent prayer for all who suffer from the coronavirus.
May those who are infected receive the proper treatment
and the comfort of your healing presence.
May their caregivers, families and neighbors 
be shielded from the onslaught of the virus.
Give solace to those who grieve the loss of loved ones.
Protect and guide those who strive to find a cure,
that their work may conquer the disease and 
restore communities to wholeness and health.
Help us to rise above fear. 
We ask all this in the name of your Son, Jesus.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Why did I become a pastor in the first place?

John 15:16

"You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name."

it strikes me as funny
the moments when life becomes clear.
Today it happened after watching 
an episode of NCIS (Season 15 Episode 23).
At the end the agents are questioning:
"Why did I become an agent in the first place?"
The answer is revealed: 
"To make a difference."

I began reflecting on the same question:
"Why did I become a pastor in the first place?"
I thought my answer was going to be:
"To make a difference."
But then I paused, 
and I heard a different answer 
bubbling up from within:
"Because God called me to be a pastor."

You, Lord, chose me,
and appointed me to bear fruit.
Sometimes that fruit is about making a difference.
I have letters and cards from lives my work has touched.
But my worth, my value, my rooted-ness 
is NOT in how much difference I make.
My foundation, 
what keeps me going, 
what gives me strength for these hard days
is Your calling, Your choosing, Your appointing.

Why did I become a pastor in the first place, Lord?
Because you chose me
and that makes ALL the difference!

May I produce the fruit of faithfulness that lasts.