Last week I attended an event that was an inspiring ceremony, celebration, and interfaith prayer service all in one. Our friend, Chaplain Tim Park, had invited me to attend the blessing of the space that when completed in July will become the chapel for Emory Johns Creek Hospital. Tim has been a champion for advocating a chapel that will be welcoming to all faiths living in our community. This is especially critical in the fact that Johns Creek and our surrounding communities have many faiths being practiced by our citizens. Our community hospital welcomes people from all walks of life and faith during times when these people are at their most vulnerable. They are seeking deliverance from their afflictions.
Leading the gathering in prayer were three representatives of the Abrahamic faith traditions. As we have been learning in our Pastor's Sunday school class through our study of Islam, the three great monotheistic faiths are all descendants of Abraham; Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Leading us in Judaic prayer was Rabbi Judith Beiner, an accomplished female Rabbi. Next, Rev. Tom Kenney, a Lutheran pastor who was once a Catholic priest offered a Christian prayer. Finally, Noor Abbady, who is a member of the Islamic Speakers Bureau of Atlanta and an immigrant to the United States led us in a Muslim prayer. Pictured below are Marilyn Margolis, CEO of Emory Johns Creek Hospital, Tim, Judith, Noor and Tom.
The book of Exodus speaks of God's sanctuary throughout the story of deliverance.
You will bring them in and plant them on the mountain of your inheritance-the place, Lord, you made for your dwelling, the sanctuary, Lord, your hand has established.
Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them. -Exodus 25: 8.
According to Exodus, God both makes the sanctuary and calls us to have our hand in it. Thanks Tim for listening to God's call to make a sanctuary that welcomes all who call on the name of the Lord.
Prayer for Today
Create room in our hearts, O Lord, so that where ever we find ourselves in life, we will be welcomed home by your spirit to share our gratitude, ask for help and surrender our will to trust in your greater ways. Amen.