Taped to the inside page of my monthly planner is a tattered piece of paper with these words from Methodist pastor Ted Loder:
Empower me to be a bold participant, rather than a timid saint in waiting, in the difficult ordinariness of now; to exercise the authority of honesty; rather than to defer to power, or deceive to get it; to influence someone for justice, rather than impress anyone for gain; and, by grace, to find treasures of joy, friendship and peace hidden in the fields of the daily you give me to plow. Amen.
Shared with me by a friend in seminary years ago, I have read these words often over the years as they help remind me that listening to God’s call is not just about figuring out what to do in the world, but perhaps more importantly, first figuring out who God was calling me to be in the world and then, from there, take the gentle next steps to “align my doing with my being.”
And now this prayer resonates with fresh new meaning when held up next to the gospel lesson we will hear together on Sunday:
Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? …You are the light of the world… No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house…(Matthew 5:13-15)
As we gather this week for worship, we will sit at Jesus’ feet with his first disciples and hear this beginning section of his Sermon on the Mount. I pray we will feel deeply reminded of the power that comes not solely from self-agency but from the deep realization we have been made in the image of God. That is the simple and powerful reality of who we are, and our work this day and every day is to source that love from the deepest parts of our being, and then, and only then, align our actions with that identity.
Come home to Trinity to be fed and formed; to be reminded we are salt and light and the world needs us- every single one of us, made in the image of God to shine our beautiful, brilliant, salty and fearless love out into the world!
May you never forget that you are loved.