With Sighs Too Deep for Words

As we continue in this season of Eastertide, I am reminded of the first two verses of Shirley Erena Murray’s Hymn “God of All Time” in Community of Christ Sings:  (CCS 270)

God of all time, all seasons of our living,

 blazing before our birth, beyond our dying,

God of all time, we come to sing your name.

Here in this place, where others have been building,

we come to claim the legacy of faith,

take in our turn the telling of your story,

and, though we tremble, speak your hope, your truth.

Many of us have experienced significant losses in our life, friends, family members. I know I certainly have. Four years ago my friend and our mission center President in Southern California, Terry Read, was struck by a car while walking his dog and killed. A year later, my sister and brother-in-law passed within 8 days of one another. Some grief is so deep, we don’t even have the words to pray about it.

When Terry passed, I instantly remembered a sermon he shared once at Mission Center conference in which he emphasized the passage from Romans 8:26:

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words.

When we are grieving, when we feel alone, when we are destitute and helpless, when we are broken and afraid, the Spirit of God intercedes, with sighs too deep for words.

There are times when being Community of Christ together isn’t about words – it’s about presence. Being present with God and for each other. 

In his new book, “A Way of Life: Understanding Our Christian Faith,” Tony Chavala-Smith describes the Kingdom of God – God’s reign on earth as Jesus’ message and the church’s mission.

He says: “the church lives in the tension between the reign of God as a vital, life-giving present experience and as the promised future of creation.”

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