My dear friends:
“If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.” So wrote Meister Eckhart, a 14th Century spiritual teacher. All prayer begins with the experience of wonder, awe and hence, gratitude, for the pure gift of simply being. God has found it good to share what by right belongs only to God, TO BE.
I was aware of this as I drove this morning to Lakehurst. The sky, the autumn trees, the sun to my left, are all things that I was privileged to see today. So it has been for all the days of my life so for, from the first gracious experience of being alive as a little boy till now—the sweet, sweeping feeling of gratitude for this gift.
My experience, special to me, because it is mine, is shared with all of you as you read this letter. As you read, become aware of the gift of the NOW of your life: circling around as the passing hands of the clock. All the particular things for which we are grateful are like the planets circling about the “Son,” the shining center of our life. What a gift to be alive and to receive with each breath, the breath of the Spirit!
We rest and walk upon this earth that receives us, just as the fruits of the field are resting upon the ground. They have been carefully preparing themselves from seed to fruit so that they could be offered to us for our nourishment. The leaves that swished in the summer breeze now crunch beneath our feet with all the feelings of nostalgia that come with autumn.
The community of Lakehurst United Methodist Church provides a beautiful, spiritual field in which we can rest as a community that loves God and loves each other. And so gratitude feeds all of our other prayers that we offer with compassion and love.
I thank my God for calling me to be your pastor for the joy that this gives for Gina and me.