Once I was assigned to a congregation as a seminary intern, I could not hide it any longer: I was awful at praying aloud with and for other people. Worse than awful. So awful you could not imagine it. My supervising minister swooped in—almost mid-prayer—and taught me to pray as she taught children.
“Spread out your fingers, palms down, start with the littlest finger and move in towards you thumb. Each finger will prompt you to think of a new petition to offer to God. Your littlest finger may remind you of children or anyone whose life depends upon care from another. The next finger is your ring finger, prompting you to consider your commitments in life.”
I will stop here and save the other three fingers for another blog post because “commitment” is the focus of this post.
There are prayers for the courage to make commitments and the perseverance to keep some commitments we’d rather walk away from. Oh, there is praise for commitments that have enriched our lives and prayers for grace when we fall short. Stare at your ring finger and you can probably think of more petitions about commitments.
Now let’s narrow this even further and reflect upon our commitments to and with God.
We can begin with gratitude for God’s presence amidst all those commitments with whom we are tethered. Then there is the gift of God’s commitment to us. Without God we are and have nothing. Pause to consider this amazing commitment of life.
There is more. We are coming up on a couple of Sundays in which this congregation will celebrate commitments made in the name of Jesus Christ and sealed with the Holy Spirit. We will receive new members on April 2. If you did not sign the fabulous red book at your confirmation or when you became a member, consider making a commitment to this church. New member classes are on Sunday the 19th at 2 p.m. and Monday the 20th at 7 p.m. if you’d like to learn more.
On Easter Sunday, April 16, we will celebrate the rite of baptism at the 6:30 a.m. Sunrise Worship service. Early Christians celebrated baptism on Easter morning in recognition of the resurrection we will share as a member of Christ’s body—his church. The tomb was empty: God’s love wins! If you or members of your family have not participated this commitment from God and the church, speak to Katie, Bill or me. This is one commitment that will endure for all time.