Language of the Heart – The Lord’s Prayer

Have you ever offered to do something then felt nervous about it, because you have never done it before?
On July 30th, I replied to a mass e-mail that was sent to all GC42 attendees to wear something that represents their heritage for the Saturday, August 8th evening worship, in Corner Brook, Newfoundland. Contemplating it for a while, I could not help but reply back, “I do not have any Armenian folklore garbs available, but I can sing the Lord’s Prayer in Armenian”. A scary thought to get up and sing in front of four to five hundred people, but something in me gave me the courage to do so.
I got a reply back that the Saturday evening worship is already full to the rim and I can offer this gift at another time. I was not sure if this would make me less, or more nervous. For some of us, knowing our schedule is a must, but Trusting God with our daily schedule is another MUST… The balancing act began upon arrival at GC42, in beautiful, Corner Brook, Newfoundland.
Meeting my colleagues and friends from all over the United Church of Canada canvas was invigorating, energizing and uplifting. Many I had “met” on Facebook and now, face to face, made our call and partnership solidified by the presence of love.
The worship gatherings were wonderful and having two close friends as part of the worship leadership was just phenomenon. One of them, Etienne Lesage told me that he was going to preach on Thursday morning worship, August the 13th. I expressed how wonderful it would be if I could sing the Lord’s Prayer in Armenian at the same worship. Having attended the same seminary school (United Theological College) in Montreal, would make this day a historical one. Monday evening, August the 10th, it was confirmed, I will offer my gift to GC42 on Thursday morning, as hoped for.
Early at breakfast on Thursday, the worship leader was happy to see me, to give me the details of the upcoming worship, so that I would know when to go up on stage. Nerves were setting in but the Spirit of God was giving me courage to go on…
After Etienne’s loving and moving message I went up to the stage to sing the Lord’s Prayer in Armenian. I stood next to the worship leader only to hear that, “The business desk says we need to wrap this up as we are running out of time.” I do not know what came over me, I replied: “We do need to pray, right?” The answer was: “Yes”. “Well this is our concluding prayer and we need to do it.” As a side note, you need to know that my voice was very tired and I could have very easily agreed with the business desk, but the Spirit gave me the courage to stay True to who we are. WE ARE JESUS PEOPLE and we do things by Prayer, Discernment, Love and Peace. The business desk is conducting God’s business and God ALWAYS works with Patience and Grace.
So, here I was in front of the court of GC42 and saying, “Let’s Pray”.
A few seconds later, I started to sing the prayer that is embedded in my soul, in the language of my heart and concentrated on the Spirit of the moment and not the big screens displaying the stage (What a scary moment to see yourself on big screens)… Everything considered, tired voice, long days, short nights – many came by to thank me afterwards, because the Spirit had touched them. One person said that because she was so involved with many things at GC42, this prayer was the only worship nourishment that she felt in her soul. How encouraging and affirming that is. Whatever we do, when we do it despite difficulties and obstacles, God’s Spirit makes a difference.
This experience however went further than just being obedient to the Spirit. It truly affirmed that God can use all of us wherever we are found, as long as we are willing to offer ourselves for the Kin-dom of the Holy One. This also affirmed, as the First Armenian Female Ordained Minister within the United Church of Canada, the Language of My Heart is welcomed and embraced. Our differences unite us.
Someone asked me, “What does it mean for you to share this prayer in the language of your heart?” I thought about it a while and I realized: “When I was called to ordained ministry, the Montreal Presbytery through Montreal/Ottawa Conference confirmed my call by ordaining me on May 28, 2011. When I moved to Ontario, the Four Rivers Presbytery through the Bay of Quinte Conference embraced me with the gifts I bring in their midst. And, on August 13, 2015, the 42nd General Council of the United Church of Canada affirmed my presence and the gifts I bring, by the Grace of God…”
Therefore, brothers and sisters do not be afraid to offer your gifts and get out of your comfort zone, because every time you do something new, you grow and cultivate possibilities that are beyond your imagination.
“…For the joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10 NIV). Amen.

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