Sunday, October 16 – “Waiting For The Dawn”
View this recorded version of Sunday Worship from October 16, 2022.
Bible Verses: Matthew 5:14-16 (Light of the World), II Peter 1:19 (Lamp in Darkness)
Reflection: Waiting For The Dawn
Excerpts from the reflection by David King Gabriel:
“Back when I first got a job as a music director, at a medium-sized church in downtown Seattle, I would be up pretty much all night long trying to imagine how the morning would go, running through every detail over and over, trying to iron it out in my head.
The thing is, the problem-izer in my head would never iron the wrinkles out. They just moved around.
I think it had something to do with the fact that the thing about which I was nervous was happening first thing in the morning. It caused a vigilance without logic or mercy…
There is one action I can take; one the attitude I can adopt, to push back on the hopelessness that I feel in these moments. I can refer to, lean on, reach for, and cling to a power greater than myself.
I wrote this next song at a time when I really needed that higher power.
Maybe I can’t sleep because I need that dark place to formulate my dreams and hear it when my spirit calls.
It doesn’t have to be something negative or bad that wakes me up in the middle of the night, like a health challenge or a nightmare. Maybe my longing has awakened me–but I’m too busy during the day to listen.
Longings, I believe, are an underused, underappreciated commodity these days, as if they were only appropriate for young adult books about first loves, or about your best friend moving to Pittsburgh.
Leaning into longing feels to me like leaning into a good stretch of a muscle or area that you haven’t stretched for a long time. It feels good, so it kind of hurts, but in the end it is so satisfying.
And besides, where does longing come from? Maybe just like our talents, our abilities, our dreams and desires.
Maybe God also implants longing in us. Stay with that moment, a feeling, that silence, that willingness to listen–just might contain the answers that you didn’t even know you asked.
Maybe I need to change. Maybe I need to change the way I treat myself and others. Maybe I’d have that certain revelation.
Many of you know this one: This life is not all about me. Well, if life is not about me, then maybe it’s about service–service to others, to the world, to the community in which we live. Maybe we should run for office.
It’s said, that service helps us get out of thinking about ourselves, which is where you find hell, and into doing for others which is where you find heaven…
One amazingly simple way to serve one another is to really and truly listen, to give the blessing of the gift of being fully present with people…
There are those sleepless nights, in the middle of the night, where everything seems scary. The lack of all our daytime distractions makes it nearly impossible to ignore the things that are bothering us.
And sometimes, thoughts that won’t leave us alone are about the secret fears we have about ourselves: not being good enough, smart enough, judgments about our inability to cope with the natural disasters that are just around the corner–mistakes we made years ago, that caused us to cringe in our beds when we think about them now. God please help me!
[Song: Waiting for the Dawn]
Sometimes we just need permission to be who we are. Sometimes the most empowering thing that can happen to us, isn’t some great act of bravado–like jumping out of an airplane, or saving someone from a burning building–sometimes it’s just the quiet voice of wisdom and experience reminding us that all the challenges and goals we set for ourselves, all of the have-tos and the shoulds, all of the ways in which we try to make ourselves responsible for the world–are made up.
Nothing we could do, could actually make any difference as to who we are. We’re just making choices.
So the question is: From which place will we make our choice? [Will it be] from the infinite place of peace of God, living and moving, and having its being within you, or the noise and the distraction of the world? From the temporary and profit driven, or from the eternal?
Praise be and glory be as we go from the day into the night, or from the night into the day. Let us know that we can be grateful for the lessons and the blessings of every time–even the middle of the night.