Monday, November 06, 2006

Monday, November 6, 2006

Today’s reading

Philippians 2:29-30

“Welcome him in the Lord with all joy, and honor such people, because he came close to death for the work of Christ, risking his life to make up for those services that you could not give me.” (Phil. 2:29-30).


I lie on my bed and pray. The room is dark, the alarm’s wretched beeping choked off mid-screech. Clumsy hands not yet under my command could not kill it soon enough. I am awake. And already you refuse to let me be. Prayer is on my lips: “Peace to them. Peace be on them all. Give us all peace.” I did not choose to pray or this prayer. It appears fully formed in my mind even as my body begs for a few precious minutes of sweet sleep. But you have determined that time is done.

You, O Eternal Watcher, neither slumber nor sleep. I, on the other hand, need more than you seem to understand. Quite against my will, you awaken me to prayer that for reasons you alone know needs to come from me. So I wake and watch with you over a few of those whom you cherish more than I can know. I lie on my bed and pray: “Peace, your peace be on them all.”

Is this the prayer you would wring from my tired flesh on a weary Monday? It is the one that comes most naturally with no prompting from me. Perhaps it is of your making. If so, I offer it with thanks that you allow me to be an expression of your Spirit’s brooding over one small province in the infinite project of your ceaseless care.

And then this, ‘honor such people.’ Is this your word for the day: that I should honor those for whom you wring prayer from my lips?

I work among those so enamored of your self-giving that they seek to make it their daily labor. Honor? I honor them because they bear the precious life you are. There are moments when you show me how much better they are than I ever have been or will be. Such knowledge does not diminish my soul but lifts me to praise you for the grace I know among them. I shall honor them for I stand in praise and awe of the life they bear. I will honor them because I love you, a love your own Spirit continues to give, all-too-often against my own will. I will honor them because I know: You wake them too with prayers of peace for your world. They are my brothers and sisters, my mothers and fathers. May we honor each other for the mystery we bear. Amen.

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