Pastor’s Corner 8/25/19

               One of my favorite bands is Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros (a mouthful, I know, but I promise, they’re great). I love them so much that I even used one of their songs in my wedding ceremony. My current favorite track from them is called “I Don’t Wanna Pray.”
                It doesn’t sound like the most appropriate song for a pastor to be singing, does it? Yet, despite its provocative title and upbeat, quirky melody, the lyrics are much more spiritual than the name suggests. Here are a few that I find particularly relevant:
“Pardon God and mom, what I’m sayin’ isn’t fair
See, I’m lookin’ to become
Not the pray-er but the PRAYER.”
                At St. Paul’s this Sunday, we’re talking about prayer as part of our Living the Questions: Wisdom from Progressive Christianity sermon series. We’ll critically examine conventional beliefs about prayer and talk about finding new ways to connect with God in our world today.
              That being said, I find this song fitting. When I listen to “I Don’t Wanna Pray,” I don’t hear the speaker saying that they want nothing to do with God…in fact, they profess love for their Creator multiple times throughout. For them, the best way to connect with God is not to kneel, bow our heads and say flowery words, but to “walk the walk.” To not pray in order to bring our wants and needs to God, but to live in such a way that we are a living and breathing prayer and an answer to the prayers of others.
                This week, I invite you to think about what it looks like to be a prayer rather than just someone who prays. How can we, as Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel put it, “pray with our feet?” And as we go forward, let’s remember another piece of wisdom from “I Don’t Wanna Pray”: “Not much good to talk, better to walk it, Not much good to take, better to give!”   
In Christ,