MORNING PRAYER REFLECTIONS from the Ven Dr Thomas Mhuriro, 16 May 2020:
Psalm 118, Leviticus 23:23-44, 2 Thessalonians 3:1-18
Good morning people of God. I trust that we are together in this journey we are undertaking under these restrictive circumstances. I am aware that it is a very expensive and exhaustive exercise. Never mind. The point is that the spiritual unity we are celebrating now is critical in terms of our relationship with God through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit that sustains us daily.
One interesting thing this morning is the encouragement that God gives in relation to how we should live. To the people of Israel, the instruction was to continue to work, to have time to rest and pray, and also to find time to celebrate. This balancing of activities seems to create a rhythm without which life would be mere routine and boredom, leading to unwarranted misery. Through Moses, people of Israel were given a balanced calendar to help them live this life to the full and to pass it on to future generations.
If we were to be honest with ourselves, we could admit that we allow a culture that tends to militate against God’s designs in most cases. Sometimes we pretend to know more than our Creator. In some cases, happiness becomes a forbidden word and we become so busy with things that do not build us. God requires us to balance our activities. One bishop who used to visit me and my other fellow trainees during my Seminary days used to encourage us to eat well, play hard, study diligently and to pray as if it was the only activity we were expected to engage in. It was clear that he wanted us to balance our lives and therefore to enjoy everything to the full. I am sure the realisation of God’s everlasting love celebrated in the psalm of this morning is only possible when we master the art of balancing our lives and therefore able to appreciate God even when we are faced with adversity. St Paul’s letter takes up the same issue. People who tend to go to extremes end up exaggerating their cases. Paul sees people who were so passionate about the end of the world, to the extent that they stopped doing any work. Among them were people who became experts in perfecting the art of gossip. We all know how much this culture of gossiping all the time even damages the Church. It looks like laziness and gossips are the best accomplices in crime! Funnily enough, according to Paul, lazy people seem to have good appetites. Now it is not easy to balance laziness with a good appetite. It would be good to be lazy and to abstain from food!
For me, it is clear that we start yet another morning with the inspiring lessons of God to help us throughout the day. We should work, rest, pray and finally celebrate the gift of life by eating. I am sure that one of the reasons why many people end up losing their faith has to do with the failure to balance the demands of life with the call to worship God. We end up looking at life as though it were a curse rather than a blessing. The God who allows us to face hardships is the same God who gives us the grace to conquer them. To him be the glory. Amen.