April 27, 2023
One of my favorite poems is Wendell Berry’s “How to Be a Poet.” You could study this poem for a lifetime and find new insight each day, but I especially love these lines:
“There are no unsacred places;
there are only sacred places
and desecrated places.”
Each time I read those words, I am reminded of Moses’ taking off his sandals because he was standing upon holy ground (Exodus 3:1-12). The place was made holy by Moses’ newfound awareness of the presence of God. This is not a Supreme Being found up in the clouds looking down upon humanity like a passion-less deity; this is a grounded God present with Moses in this moment.
I have been working on trying to cultivate that sense of awareness in my own life. How would it change the way I live if I held on to the idea that God truly is with me? How would it change how I love my spouse, how I play with my children, how I preach God’s Word, how I lead our Staff, how I hike in the woods, how I brush my teeth?
One of the tools that has been aiding me in cultivating the awareness of God’s presence throughout the moments of my life is a prayer book called Every Moment Holy. I was first introduced to this book by Janée Angel in Antwerp, Belgium when I went on our Missions Exploratory Trip in March 2022. The book has grown to mean a lot to me. In fact, this week the Pastoral Staff is away on a retreat and we are using the prayers in this book to help guide our planning and formation together.
The prayers in Every Moment Holy are designed not for lofty, high-theologically significant experiences; they are prayers meant to brighten the holiness of seemingly mundane, normal moments in our lives. A few of the prayers included are: “For the Changing of Diapers,” “Before Beginning a Book,” “For the Morning of a Medical Procedure,” and “For the Morning of a Yard Sale.”
Perhaps my favorite prayer is called “A Liturgy for the Ritual of Morning Coffee.” I share it with you now in the hope and prayer that you would see God present with you on this day, sisters and brothers:
A Liturgy for the Ritual of Morning Coffee
Meet me, O Christ,
in this stillness of morning.
Move me, O Spirit,
to quiet my heart.
Mend me, O Father,
from yesterday’s harms.
From the discords of yesterday,
resurrect my peace.
From the discouragements of yesterday,
resurrect my hope.
From the weariness of yesterday,
resurrect my strength.
From the doubts of yesterday,
resurrect my faith.
From the wounds of yesterday,
resurrect my love.
Let me enter this new day,
aware of my need,
to your grace,