There is hardly any way to describe fully the change in our daily lives or the outlook for our post-pandemic world. These circumstances are unique to us. The longer the social distancing and isolation go on, the more I compare the experience to that first plunge into grief when we find ourselves in uncharted territory and walking unfamiliar paths.
This truly is a path that none of us has walked before. We do so hope that it is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. However, I find encouragement and hope in knowing that previous generations had their own unique challenges and, in their great faith and wisdom, left us some guideposts to show us the way.
One of those guideposts is part of IPC’s history. It is "Beginning the Day," a collection of daily prayers by our founding pastor, Dr. Henry M. Edmonds; the prayers had been printed in the Birmingham newspaper. The first edition of "Beginning the Day" was published in 1919 in the wake of the enormous loss of life in WWI and the influenza pandemic of 1918. There have been four subsequent reprintings of the book.
The preface of the 2008 edition reads, “There is probably no work of Henry Edmonds more accessible to the public than these prayers. It is easy to imagine their effect on readers of 1919, their ability to inspire and encourage that is not diminished over the years. The language is poetic, direct and brilliant with ideas of belief and faithful living. The book’s popularity over the years, and the steady persistence of requests for copies of it today, have led the Independent Presbyterian Church to reissue the book again for modern readers.”
Each time I open this little book, I find inspiration and hope, wisdom and guidance. Without fail, I find within its pages the grace, love and peace of God. As it was a guidepost for many in 1919, so it is for us in 2020.
Would you like a copy of Beginning the Day? The Deacons are ready to deliver a this little prayer book to everyone who requests a copy. All you need to do is send an email to Connie Logan in the Congregational Care office at firstname.lastname@example.org. She will make sure that you are on the list.
May God bless you and keep you,
Rev. Lucy Turner