The first thing I want you to do is pray. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know. Pray especially for rulers and their governments to rule well so we can be quietly about our business of living simply, in humble contemplation. This is the way our Savior God wants us to live. -1 Timothy 2:1-3

Hey Friends,

I am a professional apologizer.  Ok, I don’t know if it is a profession, but if it was I think I would be towards the top of the game.  As with most things in life, it is because I have had so many opportunities to practice the art.  I have to apologize all the time.  Perhaps that’s not what you wanted to hear from your Pastor… I’m sorry.  See what I did there?  At any rate, the reason I have become so adept at my apologies is because I tend to rush things.  Many times I open my mouth, speak, or act before my brain has actually had time to ask the really good questions… Have we thought this through? Is this the best thing to say? Should we really be rushing into this situation?  Like many folks I know my first impulse is to react to the situation as quickly as possible.  Thus, I have had ample chances to look back and say, “I am sorry for that”.  

Paul, in a letter to his protégé Timothy encourages him to take a slightly different tact.  Timothy is instructed to begin with prayer.  THE FIRST THING, Paul says, to do is pray.  Not react, not quickly respond, not fix the problem, and not dismiss the issue, but to pray.  A couple of days ago I was talking to a pastor friend of mine.  We were discussing what should or should not have taken place in Afghanistan.  You know that with our vast and ample education in foreign policy that we got in Seminary, we had lots of opinions.  The next day that same friend called me and told me what had happened at dinner that night. His youngest child prayed before dinner and asked God to love the people in “the war” and to help their family to love them too.  He was convicted.  I was convicted and yet another opportunity to apologize.  

All of this should be a reminder to each of us that the greatest thing we can do in this moment in our world is to pause and pray.  There seems to be a lot in our nation and in our world that is upside down right now and like you, I’ve got lots of theories on how to fix it all.  But maybe all the theories, all the opinions, and any action we might take should be rooted in prayer.  So let me invite you into a regular habit for the next week.  Each day, begin your day with prayer.  Pray for humility to be slow to speak and quick to listen.  Pray for those who have suffered loss and those who are suffering in so many places.  Pray for our leaders and for those around the world who are making decisions each day that impact people’s lives.  Pray for wisdom for them and wisdom for each of us.  Pray specifically for the people of Afghanistan, those in harm’s way, and the armed forces’ personnel who are attempting to help in this tense moment.  Whatever it is you plan to do next, pray!

My prayer for you this week is that you will have the unity of the spirit found in humility that Cynthia spoke about Sunday.  I’d love for you to join us this week for our first Family Worship experience at 9:30 and 11:00 in-person or online.  It will be a chance for our young people to be in our service alongside us and I can’t wait!  We will also wrap up our Here We Go sermon series looking at Philippians.  

Praying with you,

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