Week of: September 30, 2018
Scripture: James 5:13-20
... and pray for one another, so that you may be healed.
(James 5:16b, NRSV)
A few months before my father died, when I came to visit him, I took him to worship at the church where he had taken me from birth. When we walked in the door, people welcomed him warmly and greeted him by name. He had Parkinson's and dementia, and when I looked at him sitting in the pew, he had the worship bulletin upside down. Yet, even though he couldn't remember simple things like turning off the kitchen stove after warming his coffee, when we prayed the Lord's Prayer and stood to sing the Doxology, he still knew every word.
As James counsels, this is the power of the church as a community that worships and prays together. We come and support one another in good times and bad, confess our sins, sing praise to God, and tell the story of Jesus Christ in word, silence, image, movement, and music. We pray for those who are suffering, whether someone is ill like my father, dismissed from a job, or charged with a felony.
When one is too broken to sing or pray, someone else prays and sings for them. When people forget who or whose they are, as worship leaders we remind them what God has done and is doing still.
Eternal God, help us to remember the story of our faith and act it out in our lives. Amen.
Rev. Dr. Theresa Mason
Director, Earthen Pot Ministries
St. Paul, MN
Photo: Communion is served during closing worship at Music & Worship Arts Week 2018. (Fellowship photo by Daniel Craig.)