Every morning my alarm goes off at 7:30 and I hit snooze. And I think, One day I will come to morning prayer fully put together, but today is not that day. Maybe tomorrow. 7:39. Snooze. 7:48. Snooze. 7:57. Groaning, I finally hoist myself out of bed and shuffle across the floor, emerging from my room a full two minutes before morning prayer starts. Just enough time to brush my teeth. Sometimes, one of my housemates is already sitting zombie-like on the couch. More often, someone is in the kitchen getting the coffee ready. Usually sometime in between 8:08 and 8:11, we settle in to the living room to start morning prayer. Occasionally we shuffle a houseguest off the couch, or wake them up to join us, or sequester ourselves in the kitchen with the door closed so as not to wake someone up. But we clutch our coffee cups and our tea and our yogurt and we look at each other playing a silent game of “not it” until someone volunteers to read the Scripture passage for that day. After we read, we go over the concerns raised in the church. We ask blessings on those lifted up in prayer; someone’s friend whose cancer has returned, someone facing a job interview next week, someone else looking for work, joys for a new baby or a new engagement. I’ll mention the name of someone in the congregation and one of my housemates will say, “what going on with so-and-so?” We lift all of the concerns up to God, naming them out loud, pausing on each one, remembering. Then we add to the list. Concerns that have come up in our own lives and the lives of our friends and families, things people have called us to put on the prayer list, things that we know are happening in our community. After this, we make a point to pray for the Blackburn House Project, Blackburn’s Chapel and Todd. Then we close with the Lord’s Prayer. Our Father…Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven…for thine is the Kingdom and the power and the glory forever, Amen. After that we sit for a little while and catch up. With our schedules, we sometimes won’t see each other again until the next morning. Inevitably someone glances at the clock and realizes they’re already late for a meeting and we’re thrown back into the rush of morning. Straightening hair, getting dressed, grabbing food as we run out the door. Shouting reminders to each other to take the trash/bulletins/giant papier-mache bear head to the transfer-station/church/Elkland Art Center.
This is how we start our mornings every morning. And that is what we do.