By David Brock, presiding evangelist
Let the church be admonished that the times are portentous and demand faithful adherence to the faith and work of the church, that people may be blessed by and find peace in those religiously social reforms and relationships which have been divinely imposed as a great task of achievement. —Doctrine and Covenants 137:6a, adapted
We have sharing time during welcome and announcements each Sunday at my home congregation. In the moment for communicating good news, our responses are often meager at best! There is mostly an awkward silence. We hope somebody will just say something! The pastor usually moves on quickly after one of us comments about the win of our sports team or the award received by our brother at work. It’s a little newsy…but not all that good.
Like the others, I find myself scrambling hurriedly through my week of memories to find something to say publicly that qualifies as worthy of the title “Good News.” We stumble from that moment into prayer concerns, a time usually filled with remembered needs of others. No awkward silences there!
I’m grateful that we’re a caring congregation and that our prayer lists fill with names of loved ones in need. But, what can we do to fill our good news time to overflowing on a Sunday morning? What can I do to find and share the good news in my own life?
A close friend reminded me today that one of our favorite inspirational writers, Ronald Rolheiser, says we have lost the awe and reverence in daily living that can lead to an awareness of the Divine Presence in and through all creation. “The God of ordinary life will be found in the ordinary” (The Shattered Lantern, p. 184). Rolheiser discounts extraordinary religious experiences like miracles, healings, and visions as the most important ways to revive a sense of the Holy in our lives. He stresses again and again the need of living contemplatively, daily.
If we can pay more attention to our ordinary life, we can invite our members and friends to live more attentively and contemplatively. That awkward moment on a Sunday morning might turn into a high point of our week. Together we will reveal the miracles pulsing from the ordinary moments of our lives.
Prayer for Peace
God of the ordinary and the miraculous, may we see you in both. May we share our inspired reflections and moments of blessing with our community. May we share Christ’s peace as well.
Spiritual Practice: Experience Congregations in Mission
Read and reflect on Doctrine and Covenants 164:9a–d. Reread the sentence “If you truly would be Community of Christ, then embody and live the concerns and passion of Christ.” Make a list of the issues you feel mattered most to Christ. Make another list of issues that matter to your congregation. Reflect on the likenesses and differences. How can you help align the lists? Throughout the day, as issues arise, ask yourself, “Would this matter to Christ?”
Today, God, I will ponder my week with an awareness of the everyday sacred. I will share it with my congregation or one-on-one with a neighbor.