Message for Proper 12 (Pentecost 9), Sunday, July 27, 2021

Brothers and Sisters,

 I  continue to share with you on the subject  “Prayer”, from the book entitled, Sermons from the Gospel Readings.

 Coming Apart So We Don’t Come Apart

In prayer, we don’t suddenly become super Christians because we spend fifteen minutes or even one hour in prayer.  It is in the faithful discipline of placing ourselves in the presence and power of God that we begin to grow and develop as Jesus’ disciples.  We don’t get up from prayer and suddenly feel like we can defeat all the powers of evil that are before us.  It is a slow and gradual process by which we begin to resemble more and more the one in whose likeness and image we were created.

Once we develop the habit and begin to understand over time that we are changing and that this time is truly making a difference in our lives, we have to deal with another temptation.  We may want to devote all of the time we have available to quiet reflection and prayer.  Becoming a hermit may begin to sound like a very good idea.  But while the Christian life is never complete without this time apart to sit at the feet of Jesus, it is also never complete until we get up from his feet and follow him out into mission.  The work of prayer is to prepare us for the prayer of work.  We still seek to be in the presence of Jesus but now it is kneeling at the feet of those in need as we take care of them and share with them the good news of the gospel.

From the time of prayer, we move to the time of active ministry.  Jesus and the disciples found that the time of prayer ended all too soon and we will find it so, as well.  The needs of the world are many and pressing.  The call of our Lord is to be about the work of God.  There are many who suffer and many who have lost their way in life.  We have much work to do and if we have been faithful to our prayer time we will be well equipped to be about it.

This cycle of prayer and reflection moving to action and ministry is never ending.  We can never be so filled with the power of the Spirit that we don’t need to sit at the feet of our master and be taught.  Until the world has completely come under the reign of God we can never stop going out to do the work of God.  Until every rock cries out the glory of God and every person is gathered under the wings of the eternal one, we have work to do.  It is not a case of being a person of prayer or being a person of action.  We may have our leanings more to one than the other but we are all called to be part of the cycle of prayer and ministry.  We are all called to follow Jesus and be apart with him and then go to meet the needs of the world.

Think on these things!