Weekly Meditation from Lance


I don't know if it's the fact that we have been "socially distanced" for the past two weeks or the anticipation of another four weeks that lie ahead that weighed upon me heavier, but for whatever reason, it was a fairly melancholy day.  It's easy to get lost in time as the days drag by.   I walked by Two Alices today and they had a sign up outside reminding everyone its Tuesday.  How true is that, each day blurs into the next.  Who knows what day it is?  Does it matter?

As I sat down to write tonight, I will admit that I really had absolutely no idea what to write about.  So, what did I decide to do, I watched the YouTube video of the service from this past Sunday.  Even though I am not able to be there each Sunday with everyone, this was a small and healthy dose of "togetherness" that I really needed this evening.  Mother Suzanne's message about Mary and Martha with Jesus was spot on and just what I needed to get me out of the mood I was in.

Yes, it's not the same as actually going to church on Sunday.  I get that.  But it was nice to see two familiar faces from my St. John's family.  These two wonderful people were and continue to do Jesus' work for all of us right there with a backdrop of a familiar and sacred space that is extremely important to me personally as well as for many of you.  I know the next four weeks are going to be hard.  The present situation is going to probably get worse before it starts getting better, but it will get better.  That I am confident of.

We can all make it through this together by staying in touch with one another.  Reach out to other members of the church or other people you know are alone.  Let them know people are thinking about them.  I encourage you to watch the video services on YouTube.  I promise you will feel better after you watch it.  Visit the St. John's Facebook page or website.  Stay connected.  We can worship by video as well as in person.  How we gather isn't what's important, it's what we are celebrating that is important.

"For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them."
Matthew 18:20

Grace and peace,
Lance Richardson

Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost: 

Proper 20 - September 22, 2019

Prayer Meeting

So, be honest, how many of you immediately defaulted to a pre-formed image in your mind when you read the title?  Perhaps it brought up memories of the televangelists from the 80's and 90's.   Maybe if you come from a different Christian denomination you may have even participated in a prayer meeting.  Groups of people getting together to pray.  If you stop and think about it, every Sunday we pray together multiple times during the service.  We meet for church and while we are here, we pray.  Is it a prayer meeting?  I suppose it is.
That really isn't what I wanted to talk about today though.  What I really wanted to talk about was your personal "prayer meetings".  Do you schedule time daily to actually pray?  I know from conversations with some of you that you do, but what about the rest of us.  Do you carve out a chunk of time where you put your distractions away (i.e., electronic doodads) and just spend some quality time talking to God?  It doesn't have to be a lot of time, but your mind should be focused on that conversation.  This isn't the hasty prayer you say when you are looking for parking place or when you are in a hurry and stuck in traffic.  This is a deliberate and focused time to open up and speak to God.
It is easy in the hustle and bustle of the modern world to take the blessings we have for granted.  I am as guilty as anyone.  We forget Who the source of those blessing really is.  Our Father in Heaven wants this open and prayerful relationship with us.  This week I challenge you to find that private time and just talk to God.  Maybe it is as simple as saying thank you or asking for wisdom to live your life the way He wants you to.  No matter what you want to discuss, schedule a prayer meeting with God and stick to it.  I guarantee you He will be there, will you?
This week I will leave you with a short passage from the Apostle Paul to the Thessalonians on how to hold a quality, personal "prayer meeting" with God:

16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.  Thessalonians 5:16-18

Have a great week and enjoy your meeting.

Grace and peace.
Lance Richardson