Gracious God – Father, Son, Holy Spirit,
Today, I pray for my Church. On that day of Pentecost, two millennia ago, you chose to come as Spirit and shape us into a community to be your presence in the world, a people to be shaped not by regulations but by the Spirit, a people who live and love like Jesus, a unified movement to actually be your body in the world. You breathed your Spirit into our lungs that we together might be your resurrected body. And you have never given up on us. We are “by schisms rent asunder, by heresies distressed.” It can be heartbreaking. And yet, when I read your holy story in Scripture, I see that your purpose for the Church cannot ultimately be thwarted, that you as Holy Spirit, like smoke that slivers through every crack and tiny opening, cannot be contained, cannot be stopped, cannot be controlled or confined or restricted. You seek to find and inhabit every human heart and life and to transform and empower us all to be the people you created us to be. So, because of who you are in us, and not because of who we are, I am one of those “saints, their watch are keeping. Their cry goes up, ‘how long?’ For soon the night of weeping shall be the morn of song.” (The Church’s One Foundation, 1864).
Today, I pray for my congregation, the people of St. Luke’s church. It has been nigh on seventy-five years since you called together those people to form a congregation on the far west edge of Houston, out where Westheimer became a country road. And through the years and decades, ups and downs, challenges and victories, you as Holy Spirit have transformed us to be your witness and presence. We have often fallen short, and we have often triumphed and made a difference only by your grace. I am so grateful to be a part of this congregation, God, with her powerful history, and incredible potential. I pray for a fresh outpouring of your Holy Spirit on us even this Sunday, so that spread out as we are, we will be your people, still witnessing to your unity, to your love, and to your purpose to fulfill your kingdom, “on earth as it is in heaven.”
Come, Holy Spirit. Come. Amen.