Blessèd are you, Lord, the God of Israel,
you have come to your people and set them free.
You have raised up for us a mighty Saviour,
born of the house of your servant, David.
Through your holy prophets, you promised of old
to save us from our enemies,
from the hands of all who hate us,
To show mercy to our forebears,
and to remember your holy covenant.
This was the oath you swore to our father, Abraham,
to set us free from the hands of our enemies,
Free to worship you without fear,
holy and righteous before you,
all the days of our life.
And you, child,
shall be called the prophet of the Most High,
for you will go before the Lord to prepare the way,
To give God’s people knowledge of salvation
by the forgiveness of their sins.
In the tender compassion of our God
the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
To shine on those who dwell in darkness
and the shadow of death,
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.
I'm pondering what it means to read and to drink coffee. Okay, not really. I am, however, following up on what a friend said in response to my post from yesterday. She wrote:
"Pairing your reflections as you do (feeling overwhelmed and noticing the shift in abilities among your congregation), it occurs to me that there is a grace in being with others who are experiencing limitations in ways they haven't before. I appreciate theologians like Dorothee Sölle who remind us that sin is a refusal to accept limitations. Graduate work puts us constantly in that place where we are tempted to try to ignore those limitations. May grace abound more than our to do lists."
Do I recognize my limitations...the true ones, not my neurotic fears, but the actual limitations?
In my prayers this morning I was reminded of how much is demanded of us in being compassionate and kind, in being sacrificial in our love. How often do we limit the scope of our love? Why do we do it? And why is it that it is often easy to limit the ways in which we love ourselves? Is it possible that one way for me to love myself is to honor my limitations?
Grant, O merciful God,
that your people may have that mind
that was in Christ Jesus, who emptied himself,
and took the form of a servant,
and in humility became obedient even to death.
For you have highly exalted him
and bestowed on him the name that is above every name,
Jesus Christ, the Lord;
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, in everlasting glory. Amen.
Today I'm going to take a stab at honoring my limitations. It's not the first time I've done this. I know that, in the end, it will be the right move. I know that I will mourn the missed opportunities that come with the limitations, but I'll be the better for it.
Indeed, this is the better to-do list.
Maybe there's room for me in a Banjo Orchestra.
"It's a freaking disease," said Green, 84, the eldest member of band, who has come each week since Bottorff founded the group in 2007. "It is an addiction. There is nothing like it. It's that twang."
It ain' got a thang if it ain' got that twang.