While on vacation this summer I attended worship in two forms each Sunday. First I went to Quaker Meeting, which was a small group of folks (both "weighty" Quakers who were active in their own congregations across the US and those entirely new to sitting quietly and awaiting the Spirit's arrival). Quaker Meeting gathered in the Island library - in a small circle of chairs... surrounded by books on all sides... all those books and so many written words and yet for the most part we sat in silence without the use of words at all... At the close of meeting, we held hands around the circle, introduced ourselves to one another and offered any "after thoughts" that we imagined might be useful to the others.
I then walked to the Island's church where another group of persons gathered in traditional pews, with a foot-pumped organ playing for hymns and the Doxology. The preacher of the week shared scripture, reflection, and prayers in ways that would be more "typical" for a New England Protestant service along with shared prayer concerns and communal hymns.
One of the preachers distributed a page that we could take with us after the service - simple prayers for the beginning and ending of the day. One of the prayers offered was called A Morning Prayer and it has caught my attention more than once since this summer. And so I share it here with you:
"Create a new heart in us, O living Christ. Our old hearts falter, exhausted with nostalgia, shrinking in yesterday's shadows. They look to the past to find you, but you are not in the past. You live in the future. From tomorrow's fullness you are coming to us, aflame with morning light. Help us, then, who live so ploddingly, to imitate you not as we conjure you on mythic hillsides long ago, but as you are now in glory: All imagination - unlimited, original, and new." Amen
Note: This prayer was written by Mary Luti and originally appeared on her blog. It is reprinted here with her permission.
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