A Church with a Heart for our Community

July 29th Wednesday

Greetings to you! What a beautiful morning after the rain! I am thinking of that verse that says…Jesus, there’s just something about that name-like the fragrance after the rain! So, take a moment and breathe in that fresh morning air and praise the beautiful, powerful, and wonderful name of Jesus Christ – THE Risen Saviour! Now take another breath and – rejoice and be glad in this day that God has made for us. Today I will be praying for you, asking Father to release the miracle of healing, comfort, and peace beyond understanding where it is needed.

For over 130 mornings I have been using three written prayers that were given in response to the Covid 19 pandemic. Although I have a “script” to follow, it is relatively easy…and somewhat expected, I think…to go “off-script.” One of the phrases in the prayer is accepting God’s gift of beauty for ashes (I wrote about that earlier), oil of joy for mourning, and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. Those are also the words to a great chorus which we sing.

This morning, I got caught on the ‘garment of praise’ and what it suggests. First, there is the idea of exchange – the new for the old, since it is advisable to take off an old garment before you put on a new one. It is at this point that I think we struggle…taking-off an old garment cane be awkward – exposes our vulnerability, reveals what has been covered-up, and it is a little risky to take-off he garments of yesterday. Just imagine what is under those garments…contentment, patterns of behavior, thoughts, ideas, and traditions that don’t really have significance any longer.

Actually the Bible has many stories of people who had to remove old garments to put on the new…Joseph, Ruth, Esther, Lazarus,  Bartimaeus to name a few. Of course, it was the wearing of a new garment that gave them the freedom – removal of the heaviness…frustration, dissatisfaction, blandness, weakness, ineffectiveness, hopelessness – to be remembered for the people who made a difference.

I wonder if there are others who need the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness…and they need it so desperately that they will rick taking-off the old garment? I consider the words of Paul…I take off the old garments and consider them worthless so that I might clothe myself with the surpassing beauty and glory of being like Jesus.

A little something to ponder…have a blessed day!