Solidarity

ONE LOVE
one body
one spirit
one hope
ONE LOVE
one sacred
one faith
one rhythm
ONE LOVE
your heartbeat
my heartbeat
our heartache
ONE LOVE
one breath
one death
one life
ONE LOVE
one song
one wail
one cause
ONE LOVE
your injury
my confession
our brokenness
ONE LOVE
one community
one people
one healing
ONE LOVE
one delight
one sorrow
one work
ONE LOVE

I beg you to lead a life worthy of that to which you have been called: with humility and gentleness, with patience and love, with grace and fellowship. Be obliged to community, for there is one people and one Spirit, just as there is one hope, one Healer, one faith, one grace, and one God who is above all & through all & in all. (Ephesians 4:1-6, adapted)

Sunday Prayer

For this reason, we bow our spirits before the Most High God
from whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name*:

because you are the strength and delight of all life;
because you are the root and well of all love;
because you are the wisdom and mystery of all faith.

For this reason, we bow our spirits before the Most High God
from whom every creature in heaven and on earth takes its being:

because you make time for the sick and the brokenhearted;
because you care most of all for the poor and the assaulted;
because you scold the powerful and the callous.

For this reason, we bow our spirits before the Most High God
from whom every season in heaven and on earth takes its cue:

because your grace outlasts and enfolds our frailties;
because your abundance surprises and satisfies our doubts;
because your justice shatters and upends our norms.

For this reason, we bow our spirits before the Most High God
from whom every word in heaven and on earth has its truth:

because you dance wildly in the wilderness when there is no way;
because you walk calmly through storms when there is no hope;
because you seek diligently for the sake of your kingdom.

For this reason, we bow our spirits before the Most High God.

* adapted from Ephesians 3:14-15

a pastoral prayer cross-posted at RevGalBlogPals

Fools Say

I tell you:
there is no God
for this world will march
to its own dying end
without care or
comfort, and
most of all, without
repentance for
its sins.
If there were a God
we would not be allowed
to live without one —
so callously, so
brazenly.
Otherwise
who chooses
by their own will
to succumb to Another
without force or
manipulation,
without
something gained?
And what is to be gained, if
history tells the truth,
is the control of
Another’s story in order
to obtain domination
of yet another,
but this gain
is not God
and — lest we be proud —
there is also no God to be found
in our sin-sick souls
where Another
is but an
idea
an imagining
for our fantasies
for our self-doubts
for our violent otherings.
Hidden within our secret truths
there is no God who can
trump the ego.
Fools may say it
but we who are so certain
that we are not foolish,
who are so sure
that we are
faithful,
we ourselves live it.
There is no God.

.
a lament over white theology

Psalm 14:1a — Fools say in their hearts, “There is no God.”

the phrase “sin-sick soul” comes from There Is A Balm in Gilead, an African American spiritual

Sunday Prayer

As we settle into prayer,
O Indwelling God,
settle into us;
make of us one people,
one holy home, one sacred altar
at which
the prayers of the world are laid
and by which
the Spirit of the LORD pours out its healing.
Draw us near to you
by drawing us near to one another.

As one people, as one altar,
we open our hearts
to sorrow
to frustration
yes, to rage
:: for the loss of lives due to violence
including Sandra, Kindra, Jonathan
:: for the loss of saints and faithful servants
who have stood by us, taught us, nurtured us…
:: for the loss of dear friends and family
whose deaths leave us without words to carry on…
:: for the loss of lives due to injustices
hunger, poverty, hatred, abuse, imprisonment…
We open our lives to the work
of mourning & comforting
of voice-raising & justice-seeking.

As one people, as one altar,
we open our hearts
to wonder
to elation
indeed, to gratitude
:: for moments of love that give us hope
from simple words to extravagant gestures…
:: for the vast & diverse beauty of life
woodlands and oceans, strangers and friends…
:: for the remarkable paths
we have each walked, endured, enjoyed…
:: for your constant presence, O God,
in the every day and in the surprising…
We open our lives to the work
of rejoicing & encouraging
of life-giving & God-celebrating.

O Indwelling God, draw us near to you
by drawing us near to one another.
Settle into us;
make of us one people,
one holy home, one sacred altar
at which
you are glorified
and by which
our lives are changed.
Amen.

A pastoral prayer cross-posted at RevGalBlogPals.

For the Journey

When you are weary,
may the LORD show you a well.

When you are embattled,
may the name of the LORD be your guard.

When you are lost and scared,
may God send you a kind companion.

When you are found,
may you return the favor.

When all hell breaks loose,
may heaven rush to your support.

When you no longer believe,
may love break you open to hope.

A blessing in the spirit of Psalm 20.

For additional encouragement through the ongoing work of justice, I suggest Rev. Dr. Eric Barreto’s blogpost, “All the Charlestons: We Press On for Justice.”