By Kyle Joyce of Kansas City, Kansas, USA
Re-blogged by: Daily Bread
—2 Timothy 2:22
We moved slowly and only “went through the motions.” We, as a congregation, “showed up” only on Sundays. We didn’t “pursue,” we didn’t “initiate.” We just came…and left. The pastorate got together, spent time in prayer, and decided to explore having an evangelist share a congregational blessing with us.
As we started the renewal with our evangelists, they asked what we needed. Needed? Wow! Where to begin? I remember thinking: “We’re hungry…we’re starved…we need sustenance.” The preparation began to whet our appetites. We visited members of the congregation and priesthood members throughout the weeks. We prayed and invited friends, family, and longtime members who had quit coming. We were excited!
This starved congregation began to see substance. We knew from where the nourishment should come, and we looked no further than the ministry of blessing offered by the evangelists. Our nourishment would come in the form of a congregational blessing.
As I think about the blessing now—I pick up the written copy to read from time to time—I continually rediscover God. I see God in all generations of the priesthood, and the ever-present Spirit of God alive and growing in our youth. It has been a journey since we had the service of blessing, and we’re still moving forward. Occasionally, we stagnate, we become stale, and we need to be reminded, revitalized.
We pull out the written copies of the blessing and refresh our memory of why we’re here and what Christ’s mission calls us to do. We find the indestructible love of God an unfolding, dynamic reality. Every one of us endlessly is invited to trust, accept, believe, embrace, and experience divine love. Our congregational blessing reminds us to say “yes” to the love of God…again and again and again.
Prayer for Peace
Holy Spirit, bless our efforts to connect with you. When we are stale or lacking initiative, help us to remember the ministries you have put in place for our blessing. Help us pursue faith, love, and peace.
Spiritual Practice: The Sacraments
Spend a few moments remembering your experiences with the sacraments and other ministries of the church. Recall the details of the words, touch, prayers, rituals, symbols involved. How have these experiences brought healing and blessing to you and others? Offer a prayer of gratitude for the reconciling power of sacraments in Community of Christ and the worldwide Christian family.
Today, God, I will ponder my last experience of blessing and prepare for the next.