On a snowy night in February 2020, I met with the Search and Call Committee for the first and only time. Less than a month later, COVID 19 began disrupting our lives and all of our plans, as it continues to do today.
Back in February 2020, as we discerned whether God was calling us together, we had no idea how the world would shift and change, nor could we have foreseen the challenges our congregation would soon face. But then as now, we all strive to faithfully answer the call of God on our lives, and our desire to do so unites us together.
With thanksgiving that the Holy Spirit called us together, and with prayers for our coming year, I offer the same prayer for our congregation in 2022 that I shared with the Search and Call Committee that snowy night two years ago, The Merton Prayer:
My Lord God,
I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
nor do I really know myself,
and the fact that I think I am following your will
does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you
does in fact please you.
And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.
I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road,
though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore will I trust you always though
I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for you are ever with me,
and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.
Thomas Merton, from Thoughts in Solitude, Farrar Straus Giroux
God bless us as we walk the road ahead of us in 2022, wherever the Spirit leads us, trusting we will be led by the right road, and our lives will be pleasing to God.
Yours in Christ,
Pr. Craig Jan-McMahon