River City Church - Smyrna, GA

POTS Pt. 1 - Praying and Being Present

June 23, 2019

Josh unpacks a couple of the new prayers of the season (POTS) and calls us to commit to praying for RCC and to being present with the RCC body. Looking at the lectionary passages from Isaiah 65 and Psalm 42, we see that God is waiting for us, but the things we spend our resources on impede us from tasting and seeing what the Lord has for us. We also read the psalmist in peril who is not longing for those things but finding solace and strength in his experiences in the house of God with his fellow worshippers. What would it look like if we committed to prayer and to being present with the RCC family even when we did not feel like it? Isaiah 65:1-14; Psalm 42. 

Josh shared two quotes today: (1) John Rollefson: "Anne Lamott states: 'My prayer oscillates between the two extremes of "help me, help me" and "thank you, thank you, thank you" ' in this extended lament, the psalmist shares fond memories of joining in the festival procession to the temple, while feeling overwhelmed by unspecified circumstances that are now preventing participation. The palpable sense of yearning is offered up to God as a sacrifice of a willing spirit that seeks to be restored to full fellowship in the company of worshippers." 

(2) P.C. Enniss: "However, to those of every generation who are tempted, the psalmist enjoins the skeptic to 'go to church,' where one can join the throng 'in procession to the house of God, with glad shouts and songs of thanksgiving, a multitude keeping festival.' The writer knows the power of the liturgy. Many of us are in church today because years ago we were expected (and sometimes required) to go. We would not on our own have chosen to go, and when we became older, we may even have stopped going altogether, but over time we came to acknowledge our thirst. Today there are men and women in church pews, pulpits, and theological seminaries who years ago were led reluctantly to the water by kind and caring parents and friends, only to discover that they liked it. This is the power of the liturgy. The danger for so many today is, as Simone Weil pointed out years ago, 'not lest the soul should dount whether there is any bread, but lest (by a lie) it should persuade itself that is is not hungry.' "