Sometimes there is a large group present; more often it is a small group…sometimes only ten or fewer. It doesn’t matter. The prayer for peace is held.
But a friend of mine (who helps provide the ministry of music when he is in the country) raised a question. He is aware that it requires preparation on the part of the leader and the musician–even though there is not a lot of music…a hymn and a closing ministry of music. He wondered why we bothered. Why do we go ahead and hold the service–even on Sundays and holidays–when there are few in attendance? Why do we ask people to take the time to practice and prepare when there are often few in the pews? We have the service online; why isn’t that sufficient?
It’s a fair question, and a valid one. I don’t know how someone else would answer his question, but here’s my take on it.
- I believe in the power of prayer–and I believe that even when there are just two or three gathered together, there is a synergy and an energy that is created.
- I believe that honoring a commitment we have made to God is important. We dedicated this place to focus on peace and reconciliation, and I believe it is important to do anything we can to help bring that about.
- There may not be many in the pews, but those who are present in the building are joining their prayers with those who are unable to be physically present–who are in many places in the world. The Temple serves as a focal point for those prayers for peace.
- I do enjoy it when others are present to hear me play–but that’s not the primary reason I offer ministry in this service. I offer it as a gift to God–an acknowledgement of the talent God has given me.
- God is present in that place. I believe God is present anywhere we are prepared to experience God–but again, this is a focal point (at least for me), and I find joy in preparing the best I have to offer God in this place and this time.
Our world is so in need of peace. Peace between individuals…peace between nations…peace between humans and the earth…
Anything we can do to help bring about peace…reconciliation…healing of the spirit–in any place and in any form is an important ministry we can share together.
It doesn’t matter where you are or what your faith tradition is. If you want to join me, let’s pray for peace together.