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  • Writer's pictureRev. Drew Stockstill

Emerge: A people, of dust and glory

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Morning Psalm- Psalm 20: 1-5

1 The Lord answer you in the day of trouble! The name of the God of Jacob protect you! 2 May he send you help from the sanctuary, and give you support from Zion. 3 May he remember all your offerings, and regard with favor your burnt sacrifices. Selah

4 May he grant you your heart’s desire, and fulfill all your plans. 5 May we shout for joy over your victory, and in the name of our God set up our banners. May the Lord fulfill all your petitions.

Scripture Reflection

Jacob was the grandson of Abraham and Sarah; the son of Isaac and Rebekah. He had a dream you may have heard about, about a ladder – Jacob’s ladder. As we pray about the emergence of God’s people today, notice the sturdy, simple promises of God to Jacob. Notice then Jacob’s beautiful and joyful response to God.

Genesis 28: 10-18 10 Jacob left Beer-sheba and went toward Haran. 11 He came to a certain place and stayed there for the night, because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones of the place, he put it under his head and lay down in that place. 12 And he dreamed that there was a ladder set up on the earth, the top of it reaching to heaven; and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. 13 And the Lord stood beside him and said, “I am the Lord, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and to your offspring; 14 and your offspring shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south; and all the families of the earth shall be blessed in you and in your offspring. 15 Know that I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” 16 Then Jacob woke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place—and I did not know it!” 17 And he was afraid, and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.” 18 So Jacob rose early in the morning, and he took the stone that he had put under his head and set it up for a pillar and poured oil on the top of it. 19 He called that place Bethel; but the name of the city was Luz at the first.

The promises are the same, beloved. We are the dust of the earth and the children of God. God stands beside us, just as we are, in whatever we face and assures us: “Know that I am with you and will keep you wherever you go…I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”

When we have that assurance wrapped around our hearts, when we look ahead confident in a God who goes with us wherever we go, who will never leave us, a God who is faithful to these promises, then all we face takes on a new hope. We look back on all that we’ve gone through, the far that God has brought us, and say with surprised joy, “How awesome! God is in this place and I didn’t even know it!”

Sometimes my daughter, Lydia Grace, gets pretty lost in whatever she is doing and loses awareness of the world around her: while coloring, reading, watching tv, or just staring out the window. Often, she will not notice I’ve come into the room and sat down. Occasionally, she becomes suddenly aware of her need for me. Looking out of the room, away from me, she starts to call: “Daddy! Daaaadddddy!”

I say from a few feet behind her, calmly, not wanting to alarm, “Lydia Grace.” She jolts in shock and surprise.

“I didn’t even know you were in here,” she exclaims.

I’m there when she suddenly needs me, and I was there before she knew she needed me.

I won’t always be there when she needs me. But she is starting to learn that God will.

I took her for her 5-year-old check-up yesterday. We donned our masks and enter the doctor’s office. She was nervous and greatly relieved when the nurse informed her there would be no shots today. The rest of the visit she was joyfully chatty. Among many other things she told her doctor, she described our bedtime routine: “I say the Lord’s prayer with my mommy or daddy.” The doctor gave me a nod. And she continued to both our surprise. “And then when they turn out the light and leave I say another prayer.” And then she moved on.

Later that evening as I put her to bed, she asked me if I remembered what she told the doctor. I said I did and asked what her second prayer is like.

“I tell God and Jesus I love them, and I thank God for being there and for my family and grandparents and friends.”

And I felt a bit like Jacob suddenly noticing the ladder to heaven there above her bed, as I thought “Surely the Lord is in this place—and I did not know it!”

Now I know.

By Lesley Friedmann

Let us Pray:

Satisfy us with your love in the morning,

and we will live this day in joy and praise.

God of all mercies, we praise you

that you have brought us to this new day, brightening our lives with the dawn

of promise and hope in Jesus Christ.

Especially we thank you for

ministries of discernment and governance . . . those who teach and those who learn . . .

the community of faith in your church . . . reconciliation in our relationships . . .

all gifts of healing and forgiveness . . .

People of God, for what else do we give thanks? Add your own prayers of thanksgiving.

Merciful God, strengthen us in prayer

that we may lift up the brokenness of this world for your healing, and share in the saving love of Jesus Christ.

Especially we pray for the church in Europe . . .

safe, clean, and renewable energy . . . those who are lonely and forgotten . . . those from whom we are estranged . . .

all who glorify you in worship and service . . .

And for Dick Shepley and his family, Mary, Sharon and Tom Herrold, Duana, Larry, Jennifer Watkins, Brenda and Cliff, Bob, Rochelle, Karen and Steve, Barb and Butch, Sharron Blezard, Marcia, Rose, Phil and Alice, Stanley Hope, Jake, John, Julie, the nurses of our Medical Outreach Clinic and…

People of God, for what else do we pray? Add your own prayers.

Eternal God,

you are the source of every gift, and the fountain of all blessing.

Give us such joy in living

and such peace in serving Christ,

that we may gratefully make use of all your blessings, and joyfully seek our risen Lord in everyone we meet. In Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.

“God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit watch over us. Amen.”

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