“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
Holy creativity inspires me, so it comes as no surprise that I love our monthly Jazz Vesper worship here at the church I serve. We gather at tables circling the courtyard, under sailcloth awnings that offer shade from the summer heat. Volunteers graciously bear trays laden with mini treats and sparkling water to each participant, as the jazz ensemble plucks out the requisite warm-up before it all begins.
Where else can spiritual folk come together for respectful camaraderie, to hear prayers, psalms, and poetry lofted by relaxing jazz? Each month differs in theme and energy. This Sunday we’ll “Navigate the Storm,” a topic made tolerable as the calendar keeps hurricane season a respectable distance away. Two months hence, the topic would set teeth on edge and raise hair on the back of our necks, hardly the context for a relaxing Sunday evening at 7 PM.
So, in case you’ve not come, join us this week as we Navigate the Storm in three parts: Clouds Gather, The Storm, and The Clearing. Re-discover how anxiety passes after the storm when we find ourselves inexplicably still intact. If you miss it, or live far away, select some iTunes, Pandora, or Spotify jazz this Sunday night, carry a delightful beverage of choice outside, and find a comfortable spot to pray. Bring the gathering storms of your life to mind, entertain their unleashing, and then imagine the cleansing air and slant light of life on the other side.
Whatever swarms around you like one of those atmospheric rivers we read about in the news, remember this. God is in the whirlwind, and storms always end.
Prayer: Thank you, God, that regardless of any storms that may gather on the horizon, you promise to shelter me and see me through to the other side. Amen.
God’s grace, mercy, and peace be with you,
Rev. Dr. Anna V. Copeland
Senior Minister, The Community Church of Vero Beach