Worshiping During the Week

May 3, 2013

I want to tell you about my friend Ethan. I met Ethan at the church I serve. Ethan is a man about town; everyone knows when Ethan is around, and he makes sure of it. This strapping young two-year-old is the epitome of rambunctious mischief around the church and in our community, and I adore him. He’ll always come to the church office to visit, and he’ll come find me to tell the most wonderful stories about his adventures for the day. This past week, I got to have lunch with him, and I felt incredibly close to the heart of God.

We went to a local restaurant in town, and Ethan was so excited to get to eat some good food and hang out with his family. He was sure to share his chips and salsa with us, making it easy on all those gathered round him by dipping the chip in the salsa and then handing it to each of us in the order of our seats around the booth. When the food came, somberness crawled across his face; he was sure that this was a serious moment. His dad asked him to say the blessing, and he knew this was his time to shine.

If you’ve ever heard a two-year-old pray, I’m pretty sure you’ve seen a glimpse of the kingdom of God. This unintelligible prayer was later translated by his parents as best they could. “Thank you, God, for my food, for Mom’s food, for Dad’s food, for Rob’s food, and for the chips. Amen.” This was not an eloquent recitation of prayer that we’ve all become accustomed to in Sunday worship. This was an earnest and fervent prayer of thanksgiving. I couldn’t have been more awe-inspired in that moment.

Our daily lives—not just Sunday mornings—are filled with moments of worship. For me that day, my minister was a two-year-old feeding us with spiritual food of prayer and passing out a Eucharistic feast of chips and salsa. We were in communion in one of the holiest moments of my week. We forsake these moments, don’t we? We commit them to memory because they didn’t happen in the conventional way we were comfortable grasping or understanding.

God, in such magnificent love, extends to us these worship-filled weekday moments to keep us going. We come together as a community on Sunday and worship, which is important. But those moments when we feel close to the heart of God during the week are remarkably full of grace, hope, and peace. Enjoy them, embrace them, and worship through them. Because God is there in the prayers of a two-year-old and in communion around a table, weaving the presence of the Divine within our daily lives. This week, find those moments and cling to them, for they are evidence of the very heart of God.

This post originally appeared in the Statesville Record, and was published in The Pulpit & the Paper: A Pastor’s Coming of Age in Newsprint by Robert W. Lee.

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