Relevant

What have you to do with us, Jesus:
with our constant wars and our unending words?
with our busy work and our tumultuous relationships?
with our hubris, our discontent, our mess?
What have you to do with my email messages
or my daily cup of coffee or my electricity bill?
Do you mind the big picture,
the little details,
or none of it at all?
Are you just sitting athrone,
waiting for something to do on Judgment Day
or do you have everything in the world
to do with us … in which case,
go away from us, O Christ, lest
we be destroyed by your nearness.

Monday Muse: Ash Wednesday Liturgies on the RCL

CALL TO WORSHIP (Joel 2:1-2, 12-17)
One: Drop everything at the call of the trumpet!
Two: Flee from your security at the cry of the protester!
One: Leave your “to do” list, put down your calendar.
Two: Come right now and seek a new path.
One: It’s time for a pilgrimage back to the heart of God.
Two: It’s time to walk the path of repentance.
One: Bring your whole heart; hold nothing back.
Two: Gather all people; let the reconciliation begin together.
All: Perhaps along this Lenten way, God will leave a blessing. O God we pray: leave a blessing.

RESPONSIVE REFLECTION (Isaiah 58:1-12 with Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21)
One: We worship you, Most Holy God. You are the Eternal and Merciful One; we are the contrite and weary dust.
All: You are the Spinner of Stars and the Mysterious Truth; we are the particles of galaxies and the worshipers of certainty.
One: Have mercy, O God, in your steadfast love.
All: Have mercy, O God, in your steadfast love.
     [a time of silence is observed]
One: Into the silence, we want to shout, “Hear us, LORD! Save us! Love us!”
All: Under the silent stare of God’s eye, we want to plead, “Look at our goodness. Look at our worship and our youth group and our food pantry.”
One: See, we can be humble, God. We can be faithful.
All: We can be humble. We can be faithful.
     [a time of silence is observed]
One: Ah, God. We long to hear you and to be heard by you.
All: We long to see you and to be seen by you.
One: Perhaps you have not only heard our prayers but also our conversations, our thoughts, our slander, our gossip, our votes, and our silence.
All: Perhaps you have not only seen our worship but also our hoarding of bread, our storage of treasures, our collection of admiration, our neglect of the imprisoned, and our averted eyes.
     [a time of silence is observed]
One: Our ashes are such fragile ashes; our dust is such grimy dust.
All: But let also our light be fully light; let our ruins become welcoming homes.
One: Let this dust be bold in response to your mercy.
All: Let your glory be our treasure through all the dust and stars. Amen.

ANOINTING (2 Corinthians 5:20b-6:10)
Be reconciled to God:
ashes to ashes, life to life,
like sorrow reconciling to joy,
like sleepless nights resolving to peaceful days,
like nothing remembering at last what is everything.

Sunday Prayer

In silence we wait for you.
. . . . .

In silence we pour out our hearts.
. . . . .

In silence we listen for your word.
. . . . .

In silence we hear:
“Blessed. Bless.”

Most Holy God,

Bless those who are poor.
Be generous where we have been stingy,
loving where we have been shaming.

Bless those who mourn.
Hold in your hands the tears and aching hearts
of those who have sat with death.

Bless those who hunger and thirst.
Sustain your children; satisfy the longing
of your people for justice.

Bless the merciful and the peacemakers.
To those who are doing your work, overflow with
discontent and strength for perseverance.

Bless the light and the salt.
By the light and the salt, reveal our true nature
so that we might shine, unconcealed.

Bless your followers and your wanderers.
Change your mind about us by your holy grace,
and we will trust in you always.

In silence we wait for you.
. . . . .

In silence we pour out our hearts.
. . . . .

In silence we listen for your word.
. . . . .

Most Holy God, call us onward to your good news.

Power belongs to you alone, Most High God,
power and love and mercy.
Amen and amen.

Cross-posted at RevGalBlogPals.

The LORD Is My Screen Time

The LORD alone is my rock:

the firm ground beneath my feet,
the foundation built by centuries of life
and hardship and compression, the reliable
place when all else quakes and trembles

God alone is my screen time:

the shining light that holds my gaze,
the comforting glow, the distraction before me
at every turn and every moment, the source
of laughter and tears and connection

God is my fortress and my hiding place:

more than covers pulled over my head,
more than the “nothing bothers me” mask,
more than the coffee shop of intimate anonymity,
more than locks and bolts and dreamless sleep

The LORD alone is my parking spot:

the guiding lines, the space to be,
the stopping point along the journey,
the moment of bracing and breathing before
transitioning from place to place to place

God alone is my coffee mug:

the warmth to my fingertips, the renewal
and the calm alike descending over my spirit,
the daily routine, the one vessel that is never empty
or stingy, the wellspring of surprising life

The LORD alone is my wall art:

as captivating as the winter sunset, as
exquisite in every brushstroke as the swooping
hawk, as inspiring as a romantic crush, as delightful
to the soul as dark chocolate is to the tongue

Sunday Prayer

Ah holy God, you find us
in the wilderness,
under the fig tree,
day by day by day.

You find us and you test us
to learn if we can be faithful,
to discern if we know how to repent,
day by day by day.

You test us and you call us
across the sea,
throughout the night,
day by day by day.

You call us and you fashion us
with eyes for a new vision,
with foolishness for a new faith,
day by day by day.

Be found even as you find, O God,
in word and deed,
in bread and in being,
this day and always. Amen.

Cross-posted at RevGalBlogPals.