My dad and step mom are Catholic. That means over the years I have went to several masses. Actually, for a while I filled in playing the organ.
Today as I was praying, I found myself repeating something I recognized as familiar from the Catholic Church.
Something I always enjoyed about their services was the prepared responses…. (Funny, as sporadic and unpredictable as I am, I appreciated knowing what to expect.) The structure of the service provided responses both to the Word of God and to prayer. Members knew what was coming and offered up wholehearted responses.
When I attended, a volunteer would read an assigned portion of scripture. After delivering the passage, he would close with the phrase, “The Word of the Lord,” and the congregation would respond: “Thanks be to God.”
As they offered up prayer requests, in unity, the entire body would respond. For example, they would repeat the prayer request, “For the lost and the hurting we pray …” and then echo: “Oh, Lord, hear our prayers.”
I’m a social girl, it’s no surprise so I also liked the part where everyone greeted each other, shook hands and hugged hello. In the Catholic Church the common greeting was: “The Lord be with you.” And the given response: “And also with you.”
I liked that. And it’s a good reminder that we have a role to play. It shows us how to respond to the Word of God, prayer and His people.
The Word of the Lord, Thanks be to God! Lets be actively grateful for the Word and all it brings into our lives.
When we pray, ask that the Lord would hear us! And be confident that He does!
In the Bible, letters to churches were often started with “Grace and Peace, be multipled unto you.” Let’s invite the Lord to be with us in our friendships. He is our Enamnuel. He is ever-present help….The One who will never leave or forsake you.
The Lord be with you. May He bless you and keep you, cause His face to shine upon you.
We are focusing on gratitude at my home church. Today, I am grateful for the Word, prayer, friends… and what I can learn from different experiences.