“My soul waits for the Lord, more than watchmen for the morning, * more than watchmen for the morning.”
As I sit in darkness awaiting the morning light this verse often wanders into my mind. This morning as it came in I remembered actually serving as a watchman on the bridge of a destroyer. I was 17 and I had the watch before dawn. I was tired. I didn’t know what I should look for: anything other than water and sky. As I methodically moved my binoculars in a sweep back and forth on the horizon, I remember hoping that I would see nothing and, that I would be able to stay awake until the morning light. As the hours passed I found myself yearning deeply for the morning.
My prayer flies outward and upward, soaring on the morning wind as it stirs from sleep, growing as it catches and is caught by the prayers of others, waiting actively for the moment when the first hint of light bursts suddenly forth, and almost in an instant, darkness turns to day. May our prayers be a sign of our action that hope may be renewed each morning with the rising sun.
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All Saints’ – By Rev. Alan Mead
Today is All Saints’ Day. It is a day when Christians around the world remember and give thanksgiving for those who have died. In many churches I have served the names of all that had died since the previous All Saints’ Day were read aloud during the worship service on that day or, if no worship service was scheduled, on the following Sunday.
When I was younger I participated dutifully and prayerfully. Today, my participation is more filled with the personal memories and the present pain of loss.
As I walked beside the sea earlier today, at low tide, I felt the gentle touch of the wind, the sweet smell of the salty ocean carried gently by the breeze, and listened to the lapping sound of the surf. I looked out over the water, blue today, against a blue sky, and named in my imagination those who I have loved and who are no longer here. I will remember them tonight at worship, also.
May we remember in our hearts and imaginations those we love who are no longer here. Gracious and merciful God, thank you for all whose lives have connected with ours, and who are no longer here. Thank you also for this moment, and for those who are still here; for the mystery of love, for the joy of connection, and for hope.
Psalm 52:8-9 – By Rev. Alan Mead
But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God;* I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever. I will give thanks for what you have done * and declare the goodness of your Name in the presence of the godly.
I am coming through a time of grief and sorrow. It seems that I am through it and then, in a moment, I realize that the sorrow remains, not as heavy a weight as it was; but still there. One discipline that helps me is that of waking early, before the dawn, savoring a cup of coffee as I sit alone in the predawn darkness, and then praying the Office and reading the scripture for the day. I especially enjoy the Psalms, their honesty and their profession of hope. While prayer and scripture do not suddenly lift me out of my life’s sometimes painful realities; they do provide a sense of balance and of hope. This morning I read in the scripture a story of past and future, a story of the muddle we have endured with a strong voice speaking life and hope.
All Saints – By Rev. Alan Mead
For Christians today is All Saints’ Day. It is a day that we pause to remember and give thanks for those who are no longer here. Of course we remember those who have had strong faith and who have accomplished remarkable achievements; but increasingly I find myself remembering those who have touched my life in small as well as large ways, those who’s smile and touch and gentle voice are present still in memory; those who, although no longer here, continue to encourage and form me. As I look out toward the horizon the sea glistens in the morning sun and, with varying hue, stretches to the boundary of my vision and beyond.
Sad News – By Rev. Alan Mead
It is with great sadness that we have learned of the sudden death of our dear friend and colleague the Rev. Gary Goldacker yesterday afternoon (Oct 24, 2016). Gary was a long time member of the IMN Faculty, and served Episcopal congregations in Detroit, Ann Arbor, Cleveland Heights, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Newport and several other places.
Our sincere condolences are extended to his wife, Carolyn, and the rest of his family. Funeral arrangements are being determined, and we will pass that info along as they become known.
May he rest in peace and rise in glory!