From Reverend Pat Kriss: God IS Listening
(Posted July 13,2018)
When every hope is gone, 'when helpers fail and comforts flee,' I find that
help arrives somehow, from I know not where. Supplication, worship, prayer
are no superstition; they are acts more real than the acts of eating, drinking,
sitting or walking. It is no exaggeration to say that they alone are real,
all else is unreal." – Mahatma Gandhi
Instead of the turmoil and political drama of this week that is ending, I think all of us were most intensely glued to the news of those twleve young boys and their soccer coach who were trapped far underground in a cave that instantly filled with floodwater. Amidst all the political posturing and deck-stacking in Washington and on the international stage, I found that what I looked for first each morning that I awoke was news of the rescue mission. While Supreme Court appointments are important, these young ones and their rescuers were far more pressing on my mind.\
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When things are tough and realistic hope seems all but gone, that is, indeed, the moment where we find ourselves reaching out in mind and spirit to that which transcends reality and infuses it: God. We find our souls calling out for divine intervention to release from darkness the Innocence of life. We pray. We bargain. We call out Holy, Holy, Holy God of Lord God Almighty, All Thy works shall praise Thy name In earth and sky and sea… And we trust.
And we wait.
As Gandhi pointed out in the quote above, even when hope seems gone, help arrives from somewhere, as if God were really listening. The answer is…. GOD IS LISTENING. Of course, not all prayers are answered the way we want them to be, but the fact is that asking for God to intervene, worshipping God and acknowledging Divine Power and Presence are all potent ways to move the energy of this world so that the very minds, and arms, and strength and human ingenuity that it takes to do the impossible are brought together. It is mind-boggling to have learned that, not even minutes of the last child and diver leaving the caves, the main pump that held back the cave water for the last week so that all could escape, broke.
I know that there have been many times over the last year of school shootings and violence when “thoughts and prayers” were the words carelessly tossed out when no one knew what to say about the tragedies. And THAT deserves our condemnation. But thoughts and prayers – and worship, when offered honestly, can pave the way to the kind of bravery it takes to force people in power to act.
From the letters of James that we don’t often read, comes this advice from the disciple:
Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.
This Sunday and for the two remaining Sundays in July, I’ll be focusing our message on the incredible ways that those who wrote some of our most favorite hymns were inspired by circumstances to write them. This Sunday we will be spending a few minutes with “Holy, Holy, Holy.” We’ll have the very talented Linda Wrenn sitting in for Jim Moriarty as he recuperates from last week’s surgery.
See you soon! --- Pastor Pat Kriss