Third Sunday in Lent

How is it within you, O God,
to imagine land flowing with
milk and honey, bright rivers
spilling over with satisfying life
to make harvests abundant
and people glad to no longer
know thirst? How is it, O God,
that your holy imagination and
your living heart can conceive
of a someday without hunger,
without tears, without people
lost and walking alone; of a
by-and-by in which nations
no longer war, when violence
is the stuff of fiction and hate
fades like a nightmare at dawn?
How is it, dear God Most High,
that you can conceive of hills
rising up in standing ovations,
mountains shaking their stodgy
shoulders with deep laughter,
trees picking up their rooted
skirts to join the eternal dance?
But most of all, O God of all
creation, O Christ who lived
among us, blessed Spirit who
burns within us, how is it at all
possible that you believe we
are capable of participating in
imagination and grace with you?

on Isaiah 55:1

Lent 15

My God and my delight,
my rock and my blessing:
you who can grow a daffodil
where a thorn has been planted,
you who can dance with new life
after death has decreed its sentence:
help my spirit watch eagerly for your love
though my mind expects your absence;
tune my heart to the mountains’ song
though my ear expects their silence;
open my eyes to your unfolding purpose
though my feet tremble on unknown paths;
by your mercy I too will become a sign
of your unexpected, eternal faithfulness:
a crocus in winter, a waltz in the street,
a testimony to your glory, God willing.
In the name of the One who knows all
and the One who can accomplish all.

on Isaiah 55:13

Lent 14

Take my thoughts, O God, my thoughts and my dreams too —
I have no good use for them. They keep me up at night
and wrestle with my spirit all day long. I don’t want to know
these longings and these disappointments any more,
not the worries or the fears that catch my heart in my throat.
Let me know only the satisfaction of you in each moment,
only the awareness of your presence and your calling;
help me to give up my ways (as pointless as my dreams)
and teach me to be still within your way, within your thoughts.
Give my feet their steps, my mind and spirit their inspiration;
let me otherwise be quiet. Take my thoughts and ways, O God.

on Isaiah 55:8-9