Savior of the Nations, Come: December 17, 2021

Savior of the Nations, Come: The Advent 2021 Devotional Book for St. Paul's Episcopal Church

“By awesome deeds you answer us with deliverance, O God of our salvation; you are the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas.” -Psalm 65:5 (NRSV)

Those who hang out in the choir loft with me on Sunday mornings can tell you that I have the attention span of a goldfish. This is not a bad thing as monitoring the Zoom feed requires me to be checking sound, making sure the correct account is spotlighted, and the recording is happening. The downside is that it makes it really hard for me to focus on worship, and my mind has a habit of going elsewhere. Left up to my own devices, I would probably be doing things like making worship attendance forms during the sermon or editing devotions for whatever devotional book I happen to be working on at the time instead of paying attention. It isn’t that I don’t want to pay attention and be in a worshipful mood—I just get really distracted easily.

What is currently saving me in terms of keeping me mildly focused on worship are little things. It could be David Sloat sitting behind me reading the Psalm sotto voce or it might be people-watching from the balcony and seeing people kneel. I am trying to do things like read the Psalm aloud to myself, sing the hymns (if my allergies aren’t messing with my voice and ability to breath), and stand for things where I would otherwise be kneeling if I was in the pews. After worshipping virtually for 15 months, I guess I am very much out of practice with being “present”, but I am getting my bearings back slowly.

One thing that I am also trying to keep in mind as I feel like scolding myself for my mind wandering for the 15th time during worship is that God is not asking for perfection. God is asking me to show up and hang out in the House of the Lord. God speaks to my heart through those bits of psalms that filter through my racing mind and the hymns that are being sung as my brain is focused on letting Keith or Ben know that we need more sound on Zoom. God will meet me where I am instead of expecting me to be in a certain place. Thank heavens for that!

Thank you, Lord, for being patient with me when my mind is wandering and I am distracted by something else going on. Thank you for meeting me where I am instead of where I *should* be. Amen.
-Jen McCabe