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  • Writer's pictureMemorial Fernandina

February 23rd, 204 | Rev. Rachel Williams

A few weeks ago, I spoke from the pulpit about taking the time to pay attention. Pay attention to our surroundings, to the birds in the backyard, to the people on the street, as it helps us focus in on the presence of God. God is with us always, but we may feel woefully alone if we spend all of our time distracted. In fact, we might actually need to go looking for God, to show us the truth about what it means to live this life.

Lent is a perfect time to do just that.  

While some people use these forty days as a time to give up something (think alcohol, meat, chocolate), as a means to filling those spaces with more focused attention on God, I have always enjoyed the practice of building in a habit or discipline that I can carry with me beyond Holy Week and the celebration of the Resurrection. We have wonderful classes, including this exciting Wednesday night Lenten study, but there are so many options when it comes to practices you might be able to incorporate into your daily ritual.

You might be thinking, “Rachel, I don’t have enough time to read a book or enough discipline to do something every day.” Might I encourage you to start small? Take a verse or a portion of scripture and pray those verses every day for a week. Choose your favorite worship song and dwell on the words that you sing. Don’t just let the song play, really hear the song. In fact, when we talk about worship at tonight’s study, we’ll look at Wesley’s Directions for Singing in which he instructs everyone to “Have an eye to God in every word you sing.” Spend time in focused attention. Or, if you’re having a hard time figuring something out and need some help, just let me know. I want to equip and empower you with the resources that will help you grow deeper in your discipleship and spiritual journey.  

For now, I will leave you with the blessing that I read today in my own Lenten study book, Have a Beautiful, Terrible Day!, by Kate Bowler. If her words speak to you, know that you can follow along with her study as well by signing up online here: Read now her blessing for “finding God’s presence”:   God of all that we hardly notice,

Ruler of the ground under our feet

And the sky stretched over our heads.

Send your spirit to direct our steps

And our thoughts 

As we stumble around this day and night.   

We have too much to do, so give us    

Enough silence to hear your voice.  

We have too much to worry about,  

So quiet us with a moment of your peace.  


We have too much to carry,  

So lighten our hearts with your love. 

We are your people,

eyes cast down on the ground you made,  

Wary that the sky will fall again.  

Remind us again that above and below 

you are here.  


Pastor Rachel

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