On most days, the livestream comments might have distracted me. On this particular day, they strengthened me.
Like so many of you have been doing every week during the COVID-related shutdowns, I spent my Sunday off tuning in for livestream worship — not only here at Wesley, but also in a church in the tiny village of Taizé, France. Taizé, located in the southern part of France’s Burgundy region, is home to the Taizé Community, a modern ecumenical community of Christian brothers devoted to a life of simplicity, reconciliation, kindness, hospitality, and trust.
Taizé is a truly international community. The hundred or so brothers who make up the community hail from at least thirty different countries, and most of them speak several languages. Each week during the summer, thousands of young people (representing dozens of countries) gather at Taizé, spending their days working together, eating together, studying together, and praying together. Why do they come? It’s hard to say; even the brothers were surprised when so many young people started to flock to their community. Yet they continued to welcome them year after year after year. Nearly fifteen years ago, I was one of those young people.
During the COVID-19 shutdowns — including this week, as I watched — the brothers of Taizé live-streamed their daily prayer services, with people tuning in from all around the world. As is their custom, the brothers offered prayers, songs, and scripture readings in half a dozen different languages… while livestream viewers offered prayers (via the comments section) in half a dozen more.
I couldn’t read all the comments in all the languages, of course… but after a while, you begin to recognize some common words. Thanks. Prayer. Light. Help. Pandemic. (All this on top of the more universal language of emojis.)
Then I watched as one viewer posted the following prayerful comment:
“Pour le peuple Américain.” For the American people.
Here in the United States of America, I watched another viewer (most likely from France) lift up a prayer for us. For you and me. For our country, in this time of such crisis. Friends, I have to tell you… the kindness of that brought tears to my eyes.
Someone is praying for us, friends. Someone who doesn’t live in this place, who doesn’t call this land “home,” is praying for this place, for our home, for us. Come to think of it… I’m convinced that more than one “someone” is praying for us, for our country, pour le peuple Américain.
I feel stronger now.
What a powerful thing prayer is! What a powerful, holy, mysterious thing!
And remember, friends:
Our God is bigger than coronavirus.
Our vision is bigger than coronavirus, too.
We are people blessing people.
We are Wesley Church.
Want to know more?
- Learn about our church and its ministries: https://wesleychurch.com/
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- View our recent messages: https://wesleychurch.com/sermon-message-on-video/
- View previous devotionals: https://wesleychurch.com/pastor-candys-devotionals-2/