Psalm 130

I long for You, O Steadfast Love,
like the morning glory longs for dawn;
and yet if You turned Your gaze my way
how could I stand in Your sight?

I long for You, O Foolish Hope,
like the desert longs for the rain;
and yet if You flooded over me
how could I keep my footing?

I long for You, O Whispered Word,
like a parched tongue longs for a fountain;
and yet if You poured out in holy speech
how could I have courage to hear?

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

Forever (Lent 30)

Longer than the night,
more welcome than the dawn,

Your steadfast love endures forever.

Farther than the horizon,
more abundant than the ocean,

Your steadfast love endures forever.

More impressive than the stars,
truer than a plumbline,

Your steadfast love endures forever.

More intricate than woodgrain,
sweeter than a lullaby,

Your steadfast love endures forever.

Faster than a raindrop’s ripples,
more beautiful than an infant’s smile,

Your steadfast love endures forever.

on Psalm 118:1-2

Politics (Lent 6)

Why do the nations conspire
and the people plot in vain?
The kings build their own thrones,
the rulers listen only to their own wisdom.

Why do the nations rage?
Why do they plot for domination
and scheme to preserve their vanities?
Why do they make games of governance?

They say, “Let us release ourselves from responsibility
and from God. Let us throw the people into chaos
so they break their bonds with one another
and neglect our accountability.”

Say that you are laughing, O God.
Tell us that you have wrath to spare from days of old.
Rage that creation is the richness of relationship
not the division of exploited treasure.

Break their egos like fragile china
and their walls to pieces like a potter’s vessel.
Take a rod of iron to their webs of bribery,
to their paper laws of lies & deceit.

Until the nations make peace,
call all peoples to serve in humility
and worship in trembling wonder.
Happy are those who love the LORD.

on Psalm 2