This Sunday I will continue my new sermon series on prayer. It probably will be a letdown after last week, considering we began the service by opening an envelope containing a $250,000 donation. So far, none of our prayers this week have been answered quite as dramatically. Still, I have to say there are a number of things for which I will be happy to come to church and thank God. In fact, there is a long list of things worth much more than $250,000 to me.
Bill has been incredibly fatigued this week. The combination of chemo and cancer is tough, but we both are overwhelmed by all of the blessings that are ours. I don’t know how people who don’t have faith in God, a wonderful church community, and a family of friends offering love and support manage. That is worth more than $250 billion. I feel so sorry for folks who don’t have all those reasons to walk into a sanctuary, bow their heads, and, in humility, say, “Thank you.”
Something dramatic, like an unexpected six-figure gift, catches our breath, and we ought to be grateful. But what about all of the other gifts that are worth more than six figures that also deserve our gratitude? Oh, I know you can be grateful at Starbucks or on the golf course or at the lake, but something is missing. A casually tossed off “thanks” isn’t the same as gathering on holy ground with a community of faithful people, and joining your voices in worship with saints past and present.
This Sunday I will talk about the connection of worship and prayer to the One whose name is to be hallowed. It is something we don’t seem to understand today, yet we wonder why our prayer life is so shallow or meaningless. Worship is much more than Sunday at 11 a.m., but I wonder, if we can’t even manage that, how will we ever begin to get a handle on worship 201, or learn to make prayer more than a sanctified wish list?
I don’t know about you, but that is what I’m struggling with. This Sunday morning I’m going to do some of my struggling out loud with a group of fellow strugglers who also have more than 250,000 reasons to give thanks.
Rev. Michael Piazza