House of Deputies of The Episcopal Church

Let Us Be Rooted in Prayer: An Invitation from the House of Deputies Chaplain

 |   | 

Blessings and strength to you dear friends, dear Deputies.

About eight days after Jesus said this, he took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray. Luke 9:28

As we approach the season of Lent and begin legislative committee hearings on Zoom and thus ramp up in busyness, I invite you to resolve to pray. Stay rooted in prayer my friends. I believe we are in a time where we need rootedness in our living tradition in the life of Jesus more than ever. Victor Frankel spoke many years ago of the “existential emptiness” that I think lingers through our communities and the world that such a state of loneliness leads to despair and desolation of spirit. I don’t think these experiences alone can be banished or healed by sermons, positive thinking or effective counseling alone, though all these means can be helpful.

I read once, Saint Augustine insists that the new humanity must sing a new song. We are moving in a time such as this. A new humanity trying to emerge from the dark night. So we are seeking a tradition that is open to the disturbing challenges from which renewal of life can come. As a House of Deputies, what a gift the life of Jesus offers you and me and that we step into a living tradition, a living faith which I think can only flourish within a community that has a pattern and the rhythm of prayer. This rhythm and rootedness of prayer becomes the source like a living stream, not a stagnant pool. Let us not delay to resolve to pray. Yes, we can pray anywhere but there is something to be said for having a space that is reserved for prayer. We will pray in our House when we gather.

Scripture shows us that God doesn’t dwell in buildings made by hand any more than God is in the streets, alleys and fields of the open spaces. Still most of our homes, houses have places where we each play, work and rest. There are also places where God leaves a mark. To be sure, the church is not the building but the people. Yet it can be nice to have a special place to meet the GOD we love. The church building, a lighthouse, a place of sanctuary. The House of Deputies, a place to hear the stories of the people of God.

One thing we see in scripture, at least one thing I see in scripture is that folks are commanded to mark the sacred space where God met them, to remember.  As we look at holy spaces we remember not the magic of a physical space but the mystery of what God did and who God is. This our House of Deputies will always pause to remember, loss, love, pain, joy, death and resurrection. We are reminded that this entire planet is filled with sacred spaces where God meets God’s people. So I invite you my dear friends, dear House. Consider creating a space or refresh a space where you can be in prayer in the secret chamber of the heart and be with God. Some of us keep things that remind us to pray. Whatever your practice it is important to remember to pray. Let us not delay. Many of us and especially this House of Deputies have experienced loss, death and grief this season and so let us pray with mind in heart to continue in strength and lift up those we miss, love and remember those who have died.

Faith is the way of the spirit, the powerful ruach of grace. Spirituality is life in Jesus. So to be spiritual is to be in Jesus. To know Jesus and the power of his resurrection, sharing his sufferings and death.  Spirituality is life within the love and continual life of Jesus. May you and your loved ones experience the healing power of Jesus through prayer.

Oremus ~ Por la paz entre las naciones.

Dios omnipotente, nuestro Padre celestial, guia a todas las naciones del mundo por el camino de la justicia y la verdad, y establece entre ellas esa paz que es fruto de la rectitud, a fin de que lleguen a ser el reino de nuestro Senor y Salvador Jesuscristo. Amen.