Since the death of George Floyd, I’m trying to start each work day with an 8 minute and 46 seconds time of prayer.  It’s a personal discipline that helps me intentionally engage in prayer for our community and country. In the 8 minute and 46 seconds I pray for our local, state and national elected leaders, for the protestors and the police. I pray for sinners and saints and for a path toward a better way. During that time I continue to pray for the families of those dealing with COVID-19, for the grieving and dying, the first responders, medical professionals and support staff and the scientists and researchers.  It has helped me to settle into the day. I’m more aware and thoughtful, better position to be responsive rather than reactive.

The first few days of this discipline, the 8 minutes and 46 seconds seemed like an extraordinary amount of time. Being still for that amount of time was difficult. Truthfully, I checked every couple of minutes to see how much time I still had to go. That’s not exactly something to be proud of but now, I just let that urge go by and stay focused on prayer and being quiet.  I’ve been trying to pay better attention to the moments when a thought or an image or a phrase or a song or a scripture is revealed to me. When that happens I usually write the thought down and see how it lingers throughout the day or if returns in subsequent days.  I have pages of random notes and thoughts in numerous journals which will never be deciphered.  In the quietness of this morning the phrase that settled on me are words from the Pentecost Story in Acts… “divided tongues of fire appeared among them.”

Over the past 2 weeks we’ve seen a lot of fires.  Building have unnecessarily been burning in our streets and we’ve heard a lot of divided tongues shouting at each other. It seems that divided tongues and fire has become a rallying point resonating with all sides. So, I wonder how much I participate in this discourse. Tongues have power to ignite division or the power to unite. I just have to wonder what my words say to others.

Scripture Reading:  Acts 2:1-3
When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place.  And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting.  Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. .

Reflection Questions:
What words are you using to flame a fire of divisiveness?
What language can we embody to ignite a more perfect union?
What needs to fill your house?

Prayer:
Holy God, expect me to voice messages that do not divide and let me embody a language that shines your light into the world.  Fill me with your Holy Spirit.  Amen.

 

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