Skip to main content

Patient Trust

Like most rectors of most Episcopal churches, I open our vestry (governing board) meetings with a prayer. At this week's vestry meeting, I felt moved to open with a prayer titled "Patient Trust," from a favorite little book of prayers titled "Hearts on Fire."

Given all the changes the faith community I serve (The Falls Church Episcopal) has experienced in its recent past, and in light of all the joyful challenges of this faith community's return to its property and the related seemingly never-ending litigation, and especially mindful of the Rev. Cathy Tibbett's departure (after Christmas) to accept her call as Rector of Christ Church, Luray, this prayer spoke to me. Based on vestry members' positive reactions, it spoke to them as well, and so I share it now with a wider audience, thinking perhaps -- especially in this anticipatory season of Advent coming up -- that the Holy Spirit may speak through it to you as well:  

Patient Trust
Above all, trust in the slow work of God
We are quite naturally impatient in everything
                to reach the end without delay.
We should like to skip the intermediate stages.
We are impatient of being on the way to something
                unknown, something new.
And yet it is the law of all progress
                that it is made by passing through
some stages of instability-
and that it may take a very long time.

And so I think it is with you.
your ideas mature gradually - let them grow,
let them shape themselves, without undue haste.
Don't try to force them on,
as though you could be today what time
(that is to say, grace and circumstances
     acting on your own good will)
     will make of you tomorrow.

Only God could say what this new spirit
     gradually forming within you will be.
Give our Lord the benefit of believing
     that his hand is leading you,
     and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself
     in suspense and incomplete.
                                  --Pierre Teilhard de Chardin SJ


Popular posts from this blog

Let's Unpack One Trump Tweet on Refugees

No one can  -- and I certainly don't want to try -- to unpack every tweet the person currently holding the office of President of the United States sends out.

No one has the time to respond to every one of his tweets on just one issue. Although I wish I had the time on the issue of the Executive Orders recently issued in regard to refugees.

But every so often I feel I MUST respond to at least SOME of those tweets, lest I grow accustomed to them as normal. And I refuse to normalize the abnormal. 

Take one of Saturday's tweets, for example: in response to Judge Robart's temporarily stopping an Executive Orders, there was this: 

“What is our country coming to when a judge can halt a Homeland Security travel ban and anyone, even with bad intentions, can come into U.S.?” 

Let's unpack: 

"What is our country coming to..." 
Does that lament sound familiar? Ask yourself: who often says it, where do you hear it from the most? Is it a positive, hopeful line of thinking? I wil…

The Beatitudes, Lady Liberty, and Refugees

A sermon preached January 29, 2017
The Rev. John Ohmer, Rector
The Falls Church Episcopal

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

“Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the p…