Love Supreme

O Love Supreme,
our foundation and our irritation,
our comfort and our chastisement:

The earth quakes with the marching of racism
(in every generation, new boots carry the same hatred)
but we who know Love Supreme will not be shaken.

The air blisters and scorches with words of hatred
(old words, dusty words, dead words to spark torches)
but we who know Love Supreme will not give up life’s zeal.

The demons burn with the consuming madness of fear
(delusions of supremacy, rationalized and normalized)
but we who know Love Supreme will not be afraid.

The waters rage and teem with threats of war
(vanity & selfishness multiplied by megaphone & weaponry)
but we who know Love Supreme will not surrender peace.

O Love Supreme,
our strength and our humility,
our direction and our deliverance:

Let the peace of your lips
be the confession of our hearts
and the fierce joy of our lives so that no one
is threatened or isolated by the accomplices of evil.

Let the glory of your name
be the rebuke of every prejudice
and the mercy of every hand so that no one
is degraded or violated by the mechanisms of sin.

Let the promise of your word
be the measure of your faithfulness
and the tattletale against death so that no one
suffers in this world without your attention and relief.

O Love Supreme,
our defiance and our determination,
our broken and tortured and resurrected one:

We seek your healing love for Charlottesville.
We seek your unfailing love for those afflicted by bigotry.
We seek your abiding love for the mourning.
We seek your convicting love for the rich and powerful.
We seek your redeeming love for the Church.
We seek your impatient love for white folks.
We seek your supreme love and your transformative presence
always always always.

O Love Supreme,
our hope and our dance,
our sass and our satisfaction. Amen.

“Love Supreme” as an honorific for God
is borrowed 
directly from John Coltrane’s
album A Love Supreme, which I commend
for your spirit’s comfort & groundedness.

Cross-posted at RevGalBlogPals

Religiosity

If I am zealous in faith
but do know not peace,
I am a dangerous firebrand.

If I kneel before the LORD
but cannot stand beside my neighbor,
I am a self-righteous Judas.

If I preach “Christ is near”
but shame those who cry to Jesus,
I am a false and jealous prophet.

If I shout out God’s praises
but refuse to resist injustice,
I am a faithless narcissist.

If I build glorious altars
but do not tear down dividing walls,
I am a godforsaken disciple.

Faith is not a solo experience or a self-serving endeavor. Faith cannot love God and hate a stranger. Faith is not simple or perfect or grandiose. Faith holds mystery, knows pain, and practices curiosity. Faith worships and welcomes, waits and works. Faith dwells in love, walks in peace, and joins in hope.

Reflecting on the lectionary texts for
the 10th Sunday after Pentecost (A),
patterned after 1 Corinthians 13

Sunday Prayer

To God be all glory,
to Christ be all love,
to Wisdom be all joy.

Incline your ear, O God, for your people are anxious and lonely, restless and wandering. Call our names and show us your peace. Encourage our hearts in the daily work of love.

To God be all judgment,
to Christ be all victory,
to Wisdom be all truth.

Holy Spirit, know the questions and concerns on our hearts. Be near to those who are hurting, who are mourning, who are overwhelmed. Be especially close to those who are in danger and those who are hungry.

To God be every cry,
to Christ be every prayer,
to Wisdom be every song.

We are yours, O Christ — every word on our tongues, every thought on our hearts, every step of our lives. Show us the bread of life, and we will live for you. Be to us the cup of salvation, and we will praise your name forever.

Amen.

cross-posted at RevGallBlogPals

Storytime

Tell me a story of love that grows like an apple tree; and anyone can stop to rest in its shade or relieve the gnaw of despair with its fruit; and there are no illusions that it’s pristine & pretty because everyone knows apple trees are gnarled with tight, knobby branches and rough bark; and no one believes that “pretty” is the point anyway, so no one is deterred or discouraged or distracted by a perfect row of tulips.

Tell me a story of love that pours like a summer rainstorm; and no one runs for shelter or says gloomily “When will it stop?” or hunkers under an umbrella or glares when they’re splashed; and the common experience of being absolutely drenched & deluged by love makes everyone a little kinder, a little more playful; and everyone realizes as they skip through puddles that the rainbow isn’t love’s beginning but its fulfillment.

Tell me a story of love that trembles like an earthquake; and no one is safe from its impact and everyone is at risk of losing their hearts’ walls in the rubble; and the foundations of self-interest are no match for the wild strength of love; and the measure of it looks like a jumping needle or a pounding heart or a quiet spirit; and no one ever really gets used to the unexpected ways that it shifts your worldview in the flash of a moment.

If you know that story, would you live it aloud so that others might know it too? I’ve been looking for a little inspiration…

on 1 John 4:12