Franciscan Moments @ Saint Miriam: August 10, 2020

A couple of days ago, Regina, one of our longtime parishioners posted these words on her Facebook page following the great storm that caused so much damage and flooding, including at my own home, “There’s something about the light after a storm. Makes me think of rebirth.”

It immediately reminded me of the words of the psalmist, “Clouds and thick darkness surround him…Fire goes before him and consumes his foes on every side. His lightning lights up the world; the earth sees and trembles.”  — Psalm 97

We’ve all seen it in a dark, stormy sky, and no matter how many times it makes an appearance, we are usually filled with some degree of amazement. The darkness comes, then the rainbow, but in between are intense and creative flashes, the discharge of potent electrical force we call lightening. These strikes can crack a tree, bring fire to a building, or simply appear like Grace, as a spectacle for the dazzled eye.

If we endure these storms, we, too will see the rainbow and what Regina called, “rebirth”.  If, however, we give up too soon, or retreat in fear, we are only left with the strikes that cripple us and leave us alone to our own human weakness.

This is why worship is so critical to us. In worship, the actual very real and present Spirit of God, distributes God’s great love and will for the human heart to each of us gathered as She moves through the room. When a human heart opens itself to an encounter, the spirit of a person becomes the second front in the sacred sky and the rainbow follows no matter how deep the darkness or fear that once was there.

All that can happen because worship created a unique space, a holy place, for the front of God’s Spirit and our own to meet. Worship is like a storm front; lead from the lightning to God’s bright safe sky again where God lights up the world!

St. Francis once said that it “is not fitting, when one is in God’s service, to have a gloomy face or a chilling look.”  Perhaps we should all remember how good God feels after the darkness is gone and that rainbow finally appears.

As Pastor Dan Wilt said so well, ‘Give us eyes to see what You are doing, oh God, in our community and in our lives as we worship, and let our own hearts be a storm front today as we do. In Jesus’ awesome, sky-lighting Name.’ 
Amen.  May it be so.

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