Rev. Zachary Mabe is in his 15th year as Pastor of the Terryville Congregational Church.
Scripture: Luke 17:5-10 (CEB)
The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!”
The Lord replied, “If you had faith the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.
“Would any of you say to your servant, who had just come in from the field after plowing or tending sheep, ‘Come! Sit down for dinner’? Wouldn’t you say instead, ‘Fix my dinner. Put on the clothes of a table servant and wait on me while I eat and drink. After that, you can eat and drink’? You won’t thank the servant because the servant did what you asked, will you? In the same way, when you have done everything required of you, you should say, ‘We servants deserve no special praise. We have only done our duty.’”
Reflection: Take A Deep Breath
Our society revolves so much around instant gratification. We want what we want, and we want it right now. Hey, we deserve it; we work hard! And I'm just as guilty of this as anyone else. Traffic: "Get out of my way!" Grocery store: "Nope, I was in line first!" Cell phone: "Ugh, this app is lagging." And this is only a couple of hours of my day. Imagine all the other things that happen in a given day!
About three years ago, I learned something very valuable. I learned to take a deeper breath. It hasn't solved all my problems, but it has greatly helped. How and where did I learn this? Of all places, I learned it fishing with my (then) 6 year-old son. There's something about... fixing a twisted fishing line, putting on a new hook, taking a fish off the hook and throwing it back, waiting for a bite, standing around, fixing the twisted fishing line again... and all the other aspects of fishing with a young child that requires more patience than I had ever experienced.
Jesus reminds his disciples that while they're busy making demands, everything they need is right in front of them. Perhaps it is when we pause from making our demands for instant gratification that life opens up for us in grand, mysterious and even humorous ways. Some of my best laughs came three years ago when I realized how frustrated I was getting at the lack of instant gratification one receives when fishing.
As we approach World Communion Sunday, think about areas of your life where you might take a deeper breath.
I have a little thing I say to myself. If you find it helpful, feel free to use it in your life, too: "Take a deep breath. Count to three. Say a prayer. And remember that the Holy Trinity is not Me, Myself and I."
O God, thank you for being you. Please forgive me for my selfish ways. Help me to breath and to draw closer to you. In all things, may your will be done. Amen.
New Prayer Requests:
We ask churches and church leaders to join us in the following prayers either by sharing them during worship, printing them in bulletins, or sharing them in some other way. To make a prayer request, please contact Drew Page at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Prayers of Intercession:
- For the family and friends of Rev. Edwin Ayala, CT pastor and former national staff member, who died on Sept. 23
Prayers of Joy and Thanksgiving:
- For church leaders engaged in change, learning, and networking at Super Saturday on Oct. 5
Please Remember These Connecticut Conference Churches
In Your Prayers:
West Avon Congregational UCC
Berlin Congregational Church
First Church of Christ Congregational, UCC
First Congregational Church of Bethel
First Church of Bethlehem, UCC
This Week in History:
October 1, 2017 (2 years ago) A gunman opened fire on a country music festival in Las Vegas, killing 58 and wounding over 400. At least 400 others were injured in the panic that followed. The shooting lasted only 10 minutes but the massacre became the deadliest mass shooting in the United States (and still is). Since this date, there have been 97 mass killings in the U.S., averaging 1 mass killing every 8.5 days.
(*FBI defines mass killings as event in which 3 or more people, not including the suspect, are killed)
“Study the past if you would define the future.”