“Rejoicing in the fellowship of all the saints”

As you may have seen on our Facebook page, our friend and fellow missionary, Pr. Jacob Gaugert, departs from Dallas today. We will miss his presence here, but we pray for his safe travels and fruitful journeys, as he makes his way eventually back to his home in Togo.

In the last few weeks, I have been wrestling with a sense of being “left behind”. On one hand, we have left a lot of things and people behind on our journey thus far. On the other hand, many of those with whom we entered this process are already in their respective fields of service, while we are still stateside in training. This makes for a certain sense of isolation.

However, in the past few days a petition from the Litany in the liturgy of Evening Prayer keeps coming to my mind, and has shaped my prayers lately: “Rejoicing in the fellowship of all the saints, let us commend ourselves, one another, and our whole lives to Christ our Lord.”

This is a great comfort to me. I can’t stop the progress of time, or control the journeys of others, or myself right now, but I can rejoice in the fellowship of the saints, and I can commend myself and others to the loving care and gracious protection of our Lord. Flowing from this thought, I can rejoice in the liturgies, hymns, prayers, and Sacraments of the Church, knowing that these things bind me to those who are physically separated from me, since these all flow from and back to our one Lord Christ.

So, while I miss those who are not with us in the flesh, I rejoice in their fellowship in the Church of God. And I rejoice in the fellowship of all those faithful people who are praying for, encouraging, and supporting us along our journey. Finally, and most importantly, I rejoice in the grace of God given in Christ, which binds us all together.

And I once again ask for your prayers, as we persevere through the next few months of classes in preparation for service in Ghana. Oh, and if anyone wants to come visit us here in Dallas, you are welcome!