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

Be Still

I wondered if you would come.
I wondered if you would just sidle up
quietly
unexpectedly
and sit by my side to watch the river.
Of course if you decided to take time with me
I would wonder immediately how long
you might
stay
because
no one stays.
We go, we leave, we wander,
we are sent — often in your name, often
at your urging. But I was thinking
it’d be nice instead to stay
to remain by the river
to set down roots that draw from and give life back to
the river, but to be secretly pleased all the while
that the river — and not me —
had somewhere to go.
Someday I hope
to be still long enough to be
found
but not today.
Today you don’t come
to sit with me. Today I take off running to find you
and somehow our paths never cross.
May those you found instead
be blessed by that
sweet holy presence
that tirelessly flowing river
I was missing.

Unpacking

boxesI relocate
hope
Take it back from
finite places and
finite people
where I imagined
it belonged
Wash off
the crud and
cynicism
it’s gathered
Place it in
that Holy Fire
where it can be
an incense
warming
and emanating
a sweet perfume

I unpack
faith
from the boxes
on the shelves
in the closets
where it has collected
dust
instead of growing
roots
Take it outside
to let sun and rain
alike fall on it
Nestle it deep within
that Ground of All Being
from which
comes life
to which
returns life
by which
all life sings

I excavate
trust
from my own heart
where it has grown
stiff and sore
(also stubborn
and vain)
Hold it in my hand
with compassion
at last for
its brokenness
Give it to
that Wise Storyteller
who might oh so impossibly
reimagine it
alongside such fairytales
as justice
and love
Wait and listen
for a new yarn
to be spun

Happy are those whose help
is in the LORD their God.
(Psalm 146:5)