Today is Sunday. Perhaps we will have the opportunity to join our siblings in the faith in a time of worship. Sometimes, when I go to church carrying a burden, it feels as if I am the only one who does so. I mean, look at the smiling faces, the ease with which some people are able to raise their hands and their voices! It is at these times that I remind myself that each person present has their own story to tell.
A faith community is not made up of people who have it all together. We are surrounded by fellow sojourners who are on their own paths of struggle, healing, and redemption. All who are here, like me, have had their own Lamentations 1 or Psalm 137 moments. We join people, who, like us and like the disciples, have asked God for more faith. This is also a community of people who, like Paul and Timothy, can listen, empathize, and encourage one another. And we find new meaning too when we join our Christian family at the Communion rail. Jesus invites us all the same, and we share around the same Table, each bringing our own stories to the Lord.
At the end of Communion in my church, the minister says, “You have come to this Table in faith; go in peace and may the God of peace go with you.” It is at this moment that I know that the Spirit of the Lord is present. Verse 14 of today’s reading then comes to mind. While God is faithful and promises God’s presence in all situations, I am asked to treasure this gift that has been entrusted to me, holding on to the promise of the Spirit that we will never be left on our own. So at the end of this week’s journey, I leave you with theses words: “The God of peace go with you.”
Almighty God, I know that I am not alone. You are here. My siblings in Christ are here. As we join in fellowship and worship, may we draw strength through our togetherness. Amen.
Lamentations opens with a description of the plight of the people of Judah, the southern kingdom. The people have been taken into exile as part of God’s judgment for their idolatry. The psalmist struggles to sing the songs of the Lord. In fact, those who overthrew Jerusalem have forced them to sing for their amusement, so the joy is gone. The psalmist prays that one day God will repay the invaders. In Second Timothy, Paul praises God for Timothy’s faith and for the legacy of faith that comes through his family. He charges him to preach boldly and without hesitation the gospel of Christ. In the Gospel reading, Jesus challenges the disciples to show greater faith and to understand that we are all servants in God’s kingdom.
Read Lamentations 1:1-6. How do you allow your imperfections and failings to transform you?
Read Psalm 137. How do you remember your spiritual traditions and sacred places? How do you look for God’s work in change?
Read 2 Timothy 1:1-14. What spiritual practices help you to “guard the good treasure entrusted to you”?
Read Luke 17:5-10. How might a posture of cyclical servanthood to and with all creation transform or increase your faith?
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