Dear friends in Christ,
In the sixth month of the pandemic, I am drawn to our Book of Common Prayer and the wisdom of those who have gone before us, who have weathered their own storms and found their faith tested and deepened. This month I am struck by this “prayer for young persons.”
God our Creator, you see your children growing up in an unsteady and confusing world: Show them that your ways give more life than the ways of the world, and that following you is better than chasing after selfish goals. Help them to take failure, not as a measure of their worth, but as a chance for a new start. Give them strength to hold their faith in you, and to keep alive their joy in your creation; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (BCP p. 829)
This is not a prayer just for young people, is it? It is a prayer for us all. We find ourselves in an unsteady and confusing world. We are part of this community of faith because we believe that following Jesus is the path to abundant life, but we need to be reminded of this and supported and encouraged along the way. We fail, and the world judges failure harshly. But we know that through failure, we learn and grow. When we are too afraid to try because we don’t want to fail, we miss opportunities to try and succeed.
I am so encouraged by you all and your willingness to hold to your faith in God as together we try new things. We all are “growing up” throughout our lives – spiritually, emotionally, or physically – at least that is what God desires for us. And it is not just us – the church is “growing up” too, always evolving to be the people God is calling us to be in this place and time. Let this prayer be for us a reminder that God is with us through all ages and stages. God invites us every day to learn and heed God’s ways and to follow Jesus in his life of bringing God’s reign near. Let us follow together, day by day.