Fifth Sunday in Lent

Sometimes we tend to overlook this thing called the weekly collect, that prayer we tuck in between announcements and the Scripture readings during our services. This last week the collect read, 

"Almighty God, you alone can bring into order the unruly wills and affections of sinners: Grant your people grace to love what you command and desire what you promise; that, among the swift and varied changes of the world, our hearts may surely there be fixed where true joys are to be found; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever."

The collect often unveils deeper truths embedded within the weekly Scriptures. As I listened to Dave and Melissa reflect on the Gospel and sat through the documentary Cries From Syria later on Sunday evening - I couldn't help but think of that phrase in the collect that says, "among the swift and varied changes of the world." 

In the sermon Sunday we discussed matters of death and resurrection. We talked of the death of ones we love, dreams we've had, and hopes we've longed for. We also talked about rebirth of visions, resurrection of life, and the resurgence of those dreams. After the evening gathering, watched a film that painted a picture of hopelessness and death. We watched story after story of human lives who suffered greatly and a learned about a Nation where dreams could never exist. But in the film, there was a moment where a little hope broke in. This moment felt like a small resurrection. 

They told the story of a group in Syria called The White Helmets - this is a group of everyday ordinary people who serve as Syrian Civil Defense forces. As bombs rain down these people save lives. They are volunteer rescue workers who risk their lives to save others. As people in the film spoke about them they said things like, "They are who bring hope to us people here in Syria." 

That statement nearly brought me to tears. Because... this is us, a bunch of ordinary every day people, trusting in a story about life, death, and resurrection. My desire is that among the swift and varied changes in the world, Christ would teach us at Bloom to love what God commands and that we would be fixed where true joys are to be found. And because of that, WE as the church would bring hope to people in our communities, city, and the world... 

- Andrew Devaney