Beloved, this past Sunday we celebrated our Commitment Sunday intertwined with the journey of Jonah. As I shared with you all, Jonah is an unlikely text to reflect on when it comes to stewardship, and it’s an even more odd text to hold as we prepare for the season of Thanksgiving.
Jonah was prepared, and yet he was unprepared at the same time. Jonah’s assumptions about other people got in the way of him being able to embrace the love and salvation that God offers to all.
As we prepare for the season of Thanksgiving by changing the sheets in the spare bedroom, digging out the holiday plates from the basement, or even making our grocery list, may we be prepared to be unprepared.
May we be prepared to be unprepared when grief shows up at our tables noticing a chair that is now empty.
May we be prepared to be unprepared when that conversation that we really didn’t want to bring up, gets brought up.
May we be prepared to be unprepared when God’s abundance shows up in the breaking of the bread.
May we trust that just like God was always with Jonah, even when he was unprepared, that God is with us too, in this season in our homes, our relationships, and our community.
This upcoming Sunday we will close out our commitment to the 40 days of prayer that we have faithfully journeyed together. Just ask the staff about their Monday prayer partners!
I wonder how this idea of being prepared to be unprepared may have shown up for you in the various prayer practices.
What prayer practice did you read, and feel like Jonah – ready to hop on a boat in the opposite direction instead of practice? What prayer practice swallowed you up like a whale, put you on new ground?
How ever the end of this prayer journey finds you; we cannot wait to hear from you how God showed up in your prayer life over these past forty days.
Now in terms of being prepared to be unprepared, let’s commit to TEN MORE DAYS OF PRAYER from November 20 - November 30, so that we can honor our past, embrace the present, and imagine our future in 2024 and beyond.
Shown below are our next prayer prompts, as God continues to lead us into the season of anticipation and preparation for the Christ child.
Pray for someone who:
11/20 Mentored you in your profession.
11/21 Founded an institution or movement that is important to you.
11/22 Led a group that was significant in your formation.
11/23 Wrote something that deeply moved you.
11/24 Reminded you how to see the world like a child.
11/25 Gave you a tangible object that continues to inspire you.
11/26 Governed in a way that fostered trust and cooperation.
11/27 Prayed for you.
11/28 Trusted you with difficult but important knowledge.
11/29 Pointed out your gifts.
11/30 Embodied the values you aspire to.
Rev. Virzola Law