Prayer: Lead me to the ones I need and to the one who needs me. Amen
Reading: Lamentations 1: 1-6 (Click to read text)
Stop and GROW: After reading the text, discuss/ponder the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Book of Faith questions, which are part of Camp Mount Luther's GROW Time with campers.
QUESTION 1: What scares, confuses, challenges, or doesn’t make sense to me in this text?
QUESTION 2: What delights me in this text or is my favorite part of the story?
QUESTION 3: What stories or memories does this text stir in me?
QUESTION 4: What is God up to in this text?
Reflection: I hesitate to write this devotion but here goes...I am getting lonely at church. Oh, I have many friends there. We worship, pray, sing, talk, laugh and cry together. I look forward to seeing them at choir practice, Women's Fellowship, Sunday service and more.
So why am I getting lonely? Because half our Sunday School classrooms are now empty and unused as multiple ages and grades of children are combined together. I remember the year there were twenty in second grade! One year there were two dozen Confirmands. Now there are barely a dozen in Kindergarten through 2nd grade combined. And when the choir nearly outnumbers the congregation it is simply sad to look upon.
Much has been written about this trend in church going so I won't delve into demographics, emergent church theory and all that. Google it. Whatever. I just know I am getting lonely at church. Which sounds a lot like the first verse of the first chapter of Lamentations: "How lonely sits the city that once was full of people!..." I wish I could say the next five verses of our text today are encouraging but they pretty much continue the same lament.
Still, God is with us always and we do have each other. So I sometimes simply pray, "Lead me to the ones I need and to the one who's s needing me." We'll find each other and not be lonely anymore --Ruth Gates
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