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

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.