I read Rachel Held Evans' latest blog post this morning. The link is below. And I am struggling to find words for prayer.
Liberal Christianity, Conservative Christianity, and the Caught-In-Between
Lord of the Church, I can hardly find words to pray. Thank you that the words themselves don't really matter in the end--nor whether they are beautiful and articulate or stumbling.
Thank you, God, that you know the deepest longings, fears, hopes and joys of my heart and of others' hearts too. Especially when it comes to our various church denominations, local churches....individuals.
I am crying today, as I try to type a prayer.
I am thinking of my colleague who had to leave our denomination because she acknowledged she is a lesbian.
I am thinking of my sweet young friend who is being berated for reading a book that isn't quiet theologically "in line" with the extremely fundamentalist church in which she was formed.
I am thinking of my friend who left my former church when I resigned the pastorate there and four years later is still struggling with what he believes and where he might fit in.
I am thinking of my friends who would be appalled and would want to argue if they knew I probably will not be voting for the Republican candidate.
I am thinking of the long-time friend who doesn't want to talk to my anymore because he is so appalled that I don't think my husband gets to make every single decision about our lives.
And I am thinking of the pastor from a mainline denomination who made completely false assumptions about me because of what church body ordained me.
And the fellow woman pastor who admitted she "doesn't like God, and doesn't want to ever open a Bible," and can function quite well in her large congregation in spite of that fact.
And the phone conversation I had with someone who said, "I just can't continue in my church. I love the people...but I feel like I am starving to death. I know there is more, somehow."
And I am realizing just how long it has been since I did not feel caught in the middle. Perhaps that is where I am supposed to be?
Forgive us, dear Jesus, for our pride and our foolishness and our silly bickering. Forgive us for the times we have refused to allow the Spirit inside our church services. And for the times others of us have called every foolish thing possible a "work of the Spirit."Forgive us for the people we have, both knowing and not knowing, turned away from your love. Forgive us for our fear of genuine holiness, of power, of redemption. Forgive us for valuing education too much or too little. For secretly rejoicing when someone from one of "those churches" messes up. Forgive us for our stereotyping, for our unwillingness to remember who we are. Forgive us. Help us. Break our hearts, heal our hearts, love us, correct us....
May you, Lord Jesus, be Lord of the Church. May we, together in person or only in our thoughts, approach your cross together.
Lord, have mercy!
Thanking God for my Rev Gal colleagues.