25 Abruptly Jesus broke into prayer: "Thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth. You've concealed your ways from sophisticates and know-it-alls, but spelled them out clearly to ordinary people. 26 Yes, Father, that's the way you like to work."
Matt 11:25-26 (MSG)
So it's Wednesday night at New Hope, with all the warmth and frenzy that we some how manage to hold in equal portions. We've made it past the frantic preparation of the meal and its consumption. The different groups have scattered and I'm in with the adult prayer and Bible Study group.
A few years ago, instead of calling on someone to lead and close in large group prayer, we went to small table groups. It's made a huge difference in participation. Almost without exception, everyone prays out loud.
Praying out LOUD is Tommy's specialty. He's developmentally disabled, but really seems to enjoy coming for the fellowship, and he takes part in the prayers. Tommy, like many people with that affliction, tends to fixate on an either / or, black or white, good or bad - on everything. And that extends to pretty much everything - baseball, football, and politics.
Somehow, Tommy became a Republican. And his prayers reflect that. One of our kindest members had to instruct him to calm it down about the politics when he's here at New Hope, because we aren't about that. We're serious about following Him Who can make a real change - in us and in the world He created. But still, Tommy's prayers tend to be laced with appeals for God to smite the evil Islamic terrorists, create democracy, and to make America great again.
So he launched into his prayer last night. Pretty much as I described - he really doesn't know any better.
But then he asked God to give His mercy to Ted Kennedy and his family. To reach out and touch him with His peace. To heal him.
Maybe Tommy knows more about God's grace than we realize.
Maybe God used him last night to speak a word of grace and mercy into our lives. As far as I know, no one else had prayed for the Senator.
Maybe love broke through. After all, that's the way the Father likes to work.
Have a great Memorial day weekend, giving thanks for those the Father has given us who gave their all for us.
Grace and peace,
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