Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Stepping on the Path
Stepping on the Path
Any journey begins with one step. Forward or backward, and no matter how prepared or not, the journey begins with one small step. More follow, and as each part of the journey unfolds, discoveries are made, insights and challenges are encountered and new ways of thinking and being emerge. Once engaged in a journey we stop counting the steps even when the first one was painfully hard to take. Simply getting out the door and saying goodbye to loved ones can be a major first step, fraught with tears and challenges. I remember when my children were small how hard it was to go out the door and leave them, even for a few hours, even when we were desperate for some time alone. Going always implies not coming back the same.
Today, many of my brother and sister bishops will begin a journey to the Lambeth Conference. While others are already there, for a majority today is the first step. Anxiety is running high due to all the contentious issues that are before us as a Church. This journey for many is a tangle of fear and hope, a journey of challenge and excitement. In the coming days, as I promised, since I cannot be with them, I will be praying for them with the rising and setting of the sun. I ask you to join me in the coming days in prayer, where ever and when ever possible, for the Bishops of the Anglican Communion, brothers and sisters, saints and sinners all. May their fears be transformed on this journey and may their hearts be broken open in love.
Great Creator God, be present with these your people as they rise. Loving God, may their hearts be moved by the ocean of your love. Gentle Spirit, touch them with gentle morning light to soothe their fearful minds. Tender Shepherd, gently guide the wayward and the willful alike that they might be fed together and find rest. May each be surprised by love and generosity, may each be generous and loving to others. May the soft constant winds of growing times blow through their midst, so that each might find discovery and delight in your presence and in one another. In Christ’s name we pray, Amen.
Dear God, at the end of the day, may they rest in your loving arms. None are infants and yet all need your security, your reassurance, your rest. Help them release the failures of the day as pollen to the wind. Help them turn again to you as the earth turns from the sun for another nights rest. Guide them as they seek wisdom and as they look up to you may illumination be as bright as the moon and the stars in the sky. May their evening conversations be filled with laughter and delight, as gentle as birdsong, as light as bird feathers. And may they rest completely in the knowledge of your love that completely covers and surrounds them in every breath they take. In Christ’s name we pray, Amen.