Friday, May 13 2022
Open Unto Me, Lord by Howard Thurman
Open unto me — light for my darkness.
Open unto me — courage for my fear.
Open unto me — hope for my despair.
Open unto me — peace for my turmoil.
Open unto me — joy for my sorrow.
Open unto me — strength for my weakness.
Open unto me — wisdom for my confusion.
Open unto me — forgiveness for my sins.
Open unto me — love for my hates.
Open unto me — thy Self for myself.
Lord, Lord, open unto me! Amen.
I was watching 60 minutes this past Sunday. They were doing a story about anxiety among 7th and 8th graders. This Covid pandemic had a profound effect on the mental health of young people. Kids that were "A" students are failing classes because of the stress and difficulties in remote learning. Lots of kids have suffered from mental illness because of these past two years. I think it is safe to say that this pandemic has caused mental health consequences for almost every age group. Jesus said, “Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other” (John 13:34-35 The Message).
Howard Thurman’s poem asks God to open unto me hope for despair. This week’s reading tells us that God will live among us and “he will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more, for the first things have passed away” (Rev. 21: 4). The point of these passages is that God can get us through the tough times in our lives. Instead of fighting with one another, we can help each other. Instead of being mad at one another, we can listen to one another. In today’s lesson from Acts, Peter finally understands that God’s love is offered to everyone. We are to love God and love our neighbor.
The solution is not to scream or get angry and frustrated at one another, but to love one another. The solution is to follow Christ who is the way, the truth and the life. We are to steadfastly follow the Way of Love according to our collect this Sunday and our Presiding Bishop Curry. Sometimes God answers your prayers with the help you need.
This week, I ask you to give a warm welcome to Fr. James Reiss, our new curate. I am excited to have him join Deacon Claire and me as members of our St. John’s clergy. We have been hoping and praying for help. The bishop has sent us a newly ordained priest who will help our younger folks and families. His many talents include music ministry, children, youth, and young adult ministry, theater, military chaplaincy, and his abounding energy and love of Christ will be a real asset to our active parish. I am delighted that he will start with us this Sunday, May 15th. We are asked to help him grow into his ministry with kindness and support. Please join him for some treats and coffee after church today in the parish hall.
Lastly, I am teaching bible study in May and June on the resurrection. Jesus came unto us to change our world from darkness to light, from despair to hope, and from turmoil to peace by giving himself for us. As he rose on Easter, we will rise as a congregation through loving and caring for one another. Open your heart to the life changing love of Jesus Christ. If you are feeling a little down, please don’t lose hope. God’s love is all around you in this place.
In Christ's love,