Dear members and friends of Briarwood,
This past Sunday I invited you to explore Psalm 130 in the week ahead. This has always been a powerful Psalm for me. It is particularly verses 5 and 6 that have always been especially meaningful—and they are meaningful in this hard time of waiting we are in. "I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in His word I put my hope. I wait for the Lord, more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning."
Of course we are not only a people who wait—we continue to live and serve and relate and grow in these days. We don't want to wish our lives away. Yet at the same time we wait for an end to a difficult and disrupted period of life. We wait for an end to the suffering that has resulted from this pandemic. We wait for freedom to be out and to be close to loved ones. We wait for a return to our work and our volunteer activities. We are like those in the middle of a cold night (the watchmen on the city walls) waiting for the sun to rise, and to bring its light and warmth and hope.
We are those who wait for God; for the God who promises to never leave us or forsake us. We wait for the God who has redeemed the world in Jesus Christ and who is fulfilling his good purposes. We wait in the hope for the God who, in Christ, holds the future in his loving hands. I encourage you again to sit with Psalm 130, to reflect on it, and to let its message of hope shape your life today.
Grace and peace to you, in Christ.
Tasks from the Sermon of May 10th
(1) Pay attention to God’s work in the community. In the week ahead – write down 5 or 6 things that you read about in the course of the week, that are signs of God’s loving presence in the neighbourhood or the city or the world. Have you read a story about justice being done, about loving care being given, or about courage being exhibited? Make note of it, and 5-6 other things over the course of the week. And then, toward the end of the week, in your notebook, write a simple prayer of thanks to God for what you have seen.
(2) Pay attention to God in scripture. This week, you are invited to read Psalm 130 each day. A beautiful and short Psalm that speaks powerfully about who God is, about who we are, and about our relationship with God. I invite you to read this Psalm each day, and each day to make a note of something you discover in this Psalm. What do you discover about God? What does it make you think about your own life? How does it help you face the struggles of this pandemic? What does it make you think about waiting? As you encounter the Psalm, you are paying attention to God speaking.
(3) Pay attention to your life. This week, I invite you to take some notes each day on what you are experiencing, and thinking, and feeling in daily life. Just a simple few notes. And then, to write a prayer in relation to what you are experiencing. If you are experiencing fear, write a prayer seeking God’s comfort and peace. If you experience some surprising joy, then write out your thanks to God. If you discovered something new about yourself or your family, to thank God for that new insight. To think about our lives is one thing, but to think about our lives before the face of God, prayerfully, is to pay attention to God's presence with us particularly.