The dogs woke me up at four A.M. The morning coffee was brewing by 5 and I was already deeply engrossed in my morning reading and writing by 6 A.M.
I like the early mornings. Once I get that first cuppa in me I feel like I can take on the world….at least for a few hours.
I had coffee with a friends and mentor at 8 and then I was back home by 9:30 and back into the prayer space.
There is so much to pray about just now not the least of which prayers is just about me keeping my nose out of places it doesn’t belong. Have you noticed the world is full of opinions? Have you noticed that the world is constantly trying to prod you into giving your opinion just so it has something to disagree with?
One of my biggest requests is an echo of the prayer of St. Francis.
The world needs channels through which God can flow, and to my mind that is the church’s job. We have such a high calling and one of my greatest fears is that by my opinion of things in the world I will somehow be distracted by those very opinions and thereby disqualify myself from that true calling. Even worse I am afraid that by inserting my opinion where it does not belong I will distract someone else and they will miss out on the flow of God they could have otherwise brought into the world.
I know we say everyone is entitled to their opinion I am just really struggling with whether that is true or not.
Yesterday I was back at my usual job for a Sunday morning, as on-line pastor. I am really enjoying this new work. My job starts at about 9:15 A.M. I open my computer and start “inviting people to church”. Mostly that just involves a check in on Facebook Messenger.
I sign onto the church livestream when it comes on, and then from my little perch in the church cafe I begin to engage with people attending the on-line service: I comment as the sermon goes along; I “like” and comment on what other people are saying; Sometimes I move to a private message format so I can go a little deeper with people who are popping up on my feed or sometimes even just in my head.
Who I don’t see walking through the church door in the morning or on-line is just as important as who does come to our service in physical form or through the internet. When someone is missing for a bit I use service time to try and find them virtually. Yesterday I missed several people so I sent messages to them during service.
Yesterday I also used the time to launch a remote fellowship campaign with our artist’s group. In two weeks time we will be starting an artist version of chopped.
One of our artists is donating boxes full of art supplies and so we will make up boxes for all the participating artists and each artist will have a month to create a work of art using all the implements in the box. At the end of the month we will do on-line reveals for the whole artistic community.
Church is definitely different now. People of God are having to find new and creative ways to connect around the Word of God, fellowship and prayer. I don’t know when or if it will go back to what it used to be. Honestly, I am having fun facing these new challenges. I am not sure I want it to go back.
Well, I have blathered on long enough. It is time to sign off for the night.
Since the pandemic started I have found myself rising later than usual. My old pattern was to be up and going by 4:30 or 5 in the morning. I would have half a day’s work done by the time every one else was up. That was a necessary thing because by 2 in the afternoon I would start to crash. Back then I would nap briefly and get ready for my night time work (usually a service or some kind of meeting).
Jacopo is still up every morning at 4:30 A.M. like clock work (literally you can set your watch by him). Now, though, he only wants to jump off the bed and settle in his carry cage to catch some more Z’s. Mercedes always sleeps right up by head on the pillow to my right. They are good until 6:30 or 7 A.M. now. At least three or four mornings a week it is this way.
The strangest thing is this new schedule which includes more rest seems to make me more productive. I am writing far more than I ever did before. I am getting more done around the house than I have done in all my time living here… and while I am no longer doing meetings upon meetings and services upon services, the ministry I am doing now feels somehow deeper and more ministerial.
I think that has something to do with how the nature of the work has changed. I have moved from being primarily an administrator and preacher (or singer as the case were) to being a pastor and contemplative monastic prophet. Somehow this fits better with my gifts.
But while this is true of me, my daughter has shifted to a lot of administration within the church. She is thriving in this new role.
It is interesting how the pandemic is being used to push us into the areas of our actual giftings. It feels like God is setting something big up behind the scenes. I am keeping watch to see what He is doing.
These are my thoughts today in a nutshell. We are now at the time where I must sign off and say…