Monday, September 24, 2012

Looking Forward to September 30, 2012 -- Proper 21B, 18th After Pentecost

This week we will be celebrating the sacrament of Baptism, with 3 different families bringing children forward.

The Scripture Reading this week is James 5, as we conclude our journey through the book of James.

The Sermon title is 3 P's of Parenting: Patience, Prayer, Power

Early Thoughts:  This week's sermon is brought to you by the letter P and by the numbers 3 and 1.  (Being a product of the Sesame Street generation, I always love it when I get to use that phrasing.)

Now let's be honest.  James is not talking about being a parent.  James is talking about being a faithful follower of The Way.  To be faithful is to be patient. To be faithful is to lift each other up in prayer (and allow yourself to be lifted up in prayer).  To be faithful is to be open and honest with each other.  To be faithful is to trust in the power of prayer, the power of God, to change the world.

And now I invite you to consider how parenting fits in with all those aspects of being faithful as outlined above.  Does parenting require patience?  Who could doubt that?  Patience as we wait for development to occur, or for listening to happen (and to be honest sometimes it appears that the Day of the Lord will come before those things happen.  Does parenting involve prayer, lifting up the children and the parents in prayer?  (And praying for the above named patience is a given)  I would say yes.   And where does power come in to parenting?  Whose Power? How is it used?

As a part of our baptism service the congregation of St. Paul's answers this question:
Do you, the congregation of St. Paul’s United Church, commit yourselves to support and nurture these persons within a community where the love of God is made visible and known?
We do, by the grace of God.
How do we live that out?  I am bold enough to suggest that exploring and sharing our understanding of the 3 P's of Parenting: Patience, Prayer and Power as well as helping all members of our family to meet the ONE who creates and re-creates us are part of how we "support and nurture [each other] within a community where the love of God is made visible and known".

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