One of the duties of my job is organizing the students who assist with Chapel, which we have twice a week. Each grade has a specific task. Kindergarteners carry the prayer book and chimes. First graders usher. Second graders acolyte. Third graders are crucifers. And fourth graders read scriptures. By the end of the year, every child has served at least once and some are able to serve along side their siblings. It’s an honor to serve and parents are always a part of the congregation. I handle the logistics of the children before, during, and after Chapel. It can be a bit stressful if a child is late or we can’t find the chimes, but most chapels go smoothly and I get to enjoy watching their service and success.
Eucharist chapels are a bit different. The preparation always seems more hectic and rushed. There are more moving pieces and while they go smoothly, I seem to spend more time thinking about the Chapel helpers and what they need to do than being in a worshipful state of mind. Until that is, I get to assist with administering the elements. We recently held our last Eucharist of the year.
The blood of Christ.
The cup of Salvation.
I love sharing the cup with my students, their families, and my colleagues. I feel blessed and grateful to participate in such a holy and important task. Most students and parents are silent, don’t make eye contact, and blend into the ornate nature of the ritual. Yet, every time I serve some exchange at the alter solidifies why I delight in my job, why I am blessed to lead these children closer to God. And I feel moments of complete peace, joy, purpose, and holiness.
- An eager child reaching up to grasp the wafer in his hands
- A heart felt “Thank you”
- A loud Amen
- The use of my name
- The smile on her face as I lower the cup
In our busy lives, God is present, waiting in the words of child, the actions of a friend, and the gratitude of a colleague.
Slow down, enjoy the moments of holiness when you can.
It will be gone before you know it!
Prayer focus: Teachers and students who are finishing the year.
It is challenging.
Currently, there are several people on my heart and prayer list who are struggling. They are dealing with separation from their children, devastating divorce, unexpected death, relentless bullying, lost friendship, daunting infertility, and purposeless days. I wish I could jump through the technology that connects us and be with them. Talk, reminisce, laugh, cry, read and pray. But even if I could magically teleport to their side, I still feel so ill equipped to offer words of comfort or inspiration.
I’ve been in the darkness too and I’ve always found the light. The thing is I can’t tell you exactly how. It has been a combination of factors – conversations, reading, movies, sermons, prayer, nature, and music. But it’s never the same. And each time I find myself in the depths, I don’t know what will pull me out of it. But it always comes.
I don’t have some magic remedy or pathway to the light to share.
God is the restorer. He always has been. He restored the land for Noah with the promise of the rainbow (Genesis 9). He restored the Israelites from slavery in Egypt (Exodus). He restored the exiles from Babylon (prophesied in Jeremiah 33). He restored Zechariah’s voice at the naming of his son, John the Baptist (Luke 1). He restored Saul’s sight through a man he sought to kill (Acts 9).
God alone can put the pieces back together. God alone can offer purpose. God alone can restore.
is my hope!
May we seek God!
He will heal and restore us!
Prayer focus: those in need of healing
A great pastor once counseled my husband and me as we considered a life changing move. He said,
God puts us in a place, for a reason, for a season.
As we prayed and pondered his words, they became true for us. Our season in that place was over. God had more for us to do elsewhere.
When we consider changes in our lives, no matter how large or small, uncertainty reigns. We long for a simpler time, when the choice didn’t have to be made, when the direction was clear, and when confusion didn’t surround us. What we often forget is that God can use us despite our feelings, our projections, and our self-evaluations. We are fine where we are as long as we are allowing God to mold us and grow us.
A great artist once wrote,
Welcome to wherever you are.
And he was right too.
Wherever your place, whatever the reason, or how long the season, God can use you.
Are you ready?