Denial (Good Friday, Lent 39)

To die for life
— what a laugh!
To accept the kiss of betrayal
— such foolishness!
To save by suffering
— only delusion!

I cannot stand such shame
— there is no glory in this,
No glory in human death
— since Cain, you have known this
Yet we die in every generation
— why would you do the same?
The world needs no more suffering
— ask the turtles, the trees, and all elders.

Of what gain is this loss
— of what use is blood to the ground?
We desperately drink the soaked soil
— yes there, at the foot of the cross,
But if blood could save us, consider:
— how greatly redeemed we would be
By the drenched earth of humanity’s birthplaces
— the Tigris, Euphrates and Nile all know it.
The conquerors would be the most redeemed
— not the most damned, as surely they are.

But notice how hard we try
— still to save ourselves with violence.
If the blood of One would suffice
— it would be finished
Yet we are unsatisfied
— so, God, let us assess:
Any gain from death is unjust.
— Is this how you would be?
Any vulnerability from pain is human.
— Do you stoop so low?
Any anguish from betrayal is naught but heartbreak.
— What kind of holiness is this?

Bury, O God, such foolish heroism.
— Save us not by death.
Condemn the suffering we inflict,
— the sin we violently heap on one another.
Rescue the captive, the refugee, the oppressed.
— Let theirs be the fullness of life.
Take down from the cross the innocent.
— Let blood no more water the earth.
Free the lamb from senseless slaughter.
— Can life no more require this?

Seeking Jesus (Lent 36)

I am Zacchaeus,
clamoring and climbing
for a better view of you.

Tree

I am Simon Peter,
wading through the water
to be close to you.

water

I am Susanna,
traveling alongside you
to make a way for good news.

20131021_180859

I am Mary,
sitting still with you
to soak in your words.

Lakeside

I am a woman at the well
and a woman at the table,
seeking a drink and a crumb.

communion

Seek me out, Jesus,
even as I search and wait
and long for you.

Palms (Sixth Sunday in Lent)

“I love you,” I shout,
because I don’t know
if I can be faithful.

“Here’s my coat,” I offer,
because I’m not certain
that I would give my life.

“Hosanna in the highest,” I sing,
because I doubt there will be
good news worth singing tomorrow.

“Blessed is the one who comes,” I cheer,
because I don’t remember the last time
anyone bore the presence of God among us.

Holy Jesus, my doubt is as obvious as my faith (perhaps more so), my joy never quite masks my sorrow, and my hopes are thin palms that sway easily in a breeze. Have you come to rescue me from the fear that sends love into quick retreat? Have you come to make God known forever so I cannot get lost? Have you come to pour out grace until at last my heart beats in peace? I would promise to be faithful and strive to give my full life if only you will stay with me always. Please stay, Jesus.

Palms

cross-posted at RevGalBlogPals

Yesterday Today Tomorrow

In prayer,
we say the name
that gives us hope:
JESUS.

In song,
we raise the name
that brings us peace:
JESUS.

With shouts,
we cry the name
that brings us healing:
JESUS.

You who are the same
yesterday
today and
tomorrow
stay with us and love us
yesterday
today and
tomorrow
through seasons of change
of heartache of struggle of love
yesterday
today and
tomorrow
through tears and praise
and lament and delight
yesterday
today and
tomorrow
be who you are forever and always.

We long to be made new,
we are desperate to leave the past behind us,
but you have brought us this far and
you have promised to continue.
Stories and experiences
shape us like ancient stars shape the night sky,
so do not teach us to turn our backs
on what has been but to listen
for stories of what may be.
Teach us not to start over in fear
but to wade in every water and to walk
through every wilderness with the patience
of hearts that trust you.
Teach us not cynicism but curiosity
so that our souls might sing gratitude
and our tongues speak prophecies
of your love and glory
for as long as we have breath to give.

To you, the One who is worthy,
to you in whom the angels delight,
to you alone at the beginning and the end,
to you we bring our prayers and our whole lives this day. Amen.

cross-posted at RevGalBlogPals

Christmas Day

Hark! the messenger angels sing.
It is finished! Love has come!

Our spirits soar, O mighty God,
at the magnitude and majesty:

there you are among us, the Infant Savior — and
here you are among us, the Wonderful Mystery!

We are bursting with the news: Love is here!
Peace is here! Justice and judgment are here!

How sweet, how delicious, how very
indescribable — you are sublime!

Receive our joy and make of it wonder.

Receive our gratitude and make of it humility.

Receive our adoration and make of it compassion.

Make of us, O Jesus, vessels of praise
and testimonies of the miraculous

so that no one doubts and no one
does not know the breadth of your love.

Glory, glory, glory to you in our hearts!
Glory, glory, glory to you in heaven & earth!

Glory and good news for all people!
Good news and great relief for those most in need.

Hark! the messenger angels sing.
It is finished! Love has come!

Amen! Your love is complete!
Amen! Our work of love is renewed

and our life in love is saved.
Glory, pure glory to God in the highest!

Your love is forever and ever.
Amen and amen.

Woodwork by David Van Epps

Woodwork by David Van Epps

cross-posted at RevGalBlogPals