Do not worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. – Philippians 4:6 (CSB)
Unprecedented: a word that tastes sour after the year that recently ended and continues to seep into our now. Lake Superior State University included the word on the 2021 Banished Words List for how it became the (un)warranted refrain for a year full of unanticipated twists and turns.
The reality is that all of life is a long series of unprecedented time units strung together. Last year was as unprecedented as the year before. Every single day of any future or past year is unlike any others you’ve ever experienced.
In the face of overwhelming unprecedentedness that threatens to derail everything you know: Rest. Rehydrate. Root yourself in prayer and gratitude. Remember that the world already has a savior, and it isn’t you. Request what you need from God. Return to the you-shaped work God needs you to do. Repeat in perpetuity.
If no one has said it to you recently (or ever!), you are loved. You are enough. You are doing your best even as you’re feeling at your worst. With God in every slice of time, we can and must faithfully re-precedent these unusual days, weeks, months, and years ahead. Indeed, God tends to be most active in those uncertain liminal spaces.
Lift our worries from our minds and spirits, faithful God. Help us perceive your presence and activity in and all around us. Fling us into a world that’s unraveling from the slow sin of normalcy, a privilege most of the world cannot enjoy. Reveal the beautifully diverse possibilities you’re inviting into our work and our very selves. Accept our gratitude for being with us through it all. Amen.
The Rev. Phiwa Langeni is the Ambassador for Innovation & Engagement of the United Church of Christ. They are also the Founder of Salus Center, the only LGBTQ resource and community center in Lansing, MI.