National Day of Prayer

ImageRomans 15:6 “So that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Can you imagine it?

Can you see it really happening?

Can you hear it?

Imagine what?

See what? Hear what?

One voice of praise rising up from many.

People of many colors, many vocal qualities, many languages, many tribes and nations.

People of many abilities. People of differing abilities.

People of many socioeconomic backgrounds.

Many united in one voice and mind to glorify God.

Including the voice of the silent. Including the voice of those who have never heard sound.

Including the voice of those who speak with their eyes and hands.

Including those with labels to categorize their intelligence.

A lifting up of the voices mixed with tears, voices from toddlers and the very aged.

Voices of those forgetting who they are, and the voices of those who care for them.

Voices singing, voices praising, voices begging, voices wondering.

Voices that echo off mountaintops and voices lost in noise.

A lifting up of voices from prisons and brothels, universities and hospitals, park benches and fox holes.

Voices rising from woven corn stalk and plastic covered huts, voices from McMansions and voices from Red Cross shelters and UN refugee camps.

Many praying with one mind and one voice together glorifying the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Note- Picture is from chapel at Fairport Baptist Home, Fairport, NY

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Celebrating World Autism Day

I thought about the title of this post for awhile before deciding on “Celebrating World Autism Day.” At first I was going to title this “Honoring World Autism Day”, which would be a correct view of the day, but I decided to use of the word celebrating. Celebrations are happy, joyous gatherings with cake and balloons. Celebrations are a joyous recognition of something wondrous, such as the birthday  of a loved one; so ‘celebrating’ is the correct word.  What are we celebrating joyously with cake and balloons? The joy of sharing the world with wonderful people who have autism.

What is autism? The autism advocacy group Autism Speaks defines it as “Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and autism are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors. Wikipedia describes autism as a disorder of neuro development. People who have autism interact with and interpret the world differently than more typical people. People who have autism are complexly different and complexly similar to other people. Today we are celebrating those differences and similarities. Today we are celebrating the lives of the 1 in 68 children who have autism around the globe.

What are we, as people of faith celebrating? All people are amazing gifts from God to each other. Today we are celebrating the wonderful gifts that people who have autism bring to the world. We are celebrating the opportunity that we have to journey through life with people who have autism, their families and their caregivers. We are celebrating the joy of sharing our faith with people who interpret the world differently. We are celebrating God at work across the entire spectrum of humanity.