Flooded

Still earth storms and trembles.
Still nations war and rage.
Still people hate and denigrate.

Where is Your deliverance, O LORD?
Where is Your help and Your strength?
Where is the promised transformation?

Still we boast and bicker.
Still we deplete and doubt.
Still we cling to hell when heaven is at hand.

When will our actions catch up to our confessions?
When will we believe Your revelation?
When will we live as part of one another?

Still Your love permeates and agitates.
Still Your grace blooms and nurtures.
Still Your hope generates a song on weary tongues.

This is our prayer, O God Most Glorious: for renewal and reparation, for direction and healing, for joy to swallow us up before hatred sweeps us away, for kinship and understanding to become our salvation, for the defeat of evil among us and the exorcism of lies & greed within us. This is our prayer, Gracious and Living God: to be loosed from fear for the freedom of peace, to grow in faith and be bound to Your mercy, to be acceptable before You and unceasing in Your praise.

cross-posted at RevGalBlogPals

Famine

Go away from me!

Christ, have mercy. I am broken and beaten down, worn and weary, and too discouraged to brave the sight of you. I am starved by the hatred of the world. Go away — your glory only reminds me of my imperfection, your grace shames my sin.

Come closer to me!

Christ, be near. I am broken and beaten down, worn and weary, and too discouraged to be alone without you. I am starved by the demons of my own heart. Come closer — your glory reminds me that there is beauty, your grace distills my soul to peace.

Speak to me here.

Spirit, guide me where I am. Amid shifting sands and swirling winds, through change and grief and torment, be the roots that hold me fast to all creation. Patience is scarce, and I am hungry for wisdom. Call me to be present here where I am, here where you are.

Provide for me there.

Spirit, equip me where I am going. Amid shifting sands and swirling winds, through change and grief and torment, be the promise that compels my journey. Imagination is scarce, and I am hungry for direction. Embolden me to go where I am sent, to go where you are.

Do not delay!

Most Holy God, be swift. These days are fleeting, this life burns like grass, and your children long for redemption more than the morning sun. Where healing is hoarded and miracles squandered, take up your name with urgency — creation weeps loudly for you.

Persist forever!

Most Holy God, be faithful. These days are fleeting, this life burns like grass, and your children long for justice that endures the deepest night. Where hope is hoarded and forgiveness squandered, take up your name for all eternity and generations will praise you.

on Genesis  45:-15 and Matthew 15:21-28

cross-posted at RevGalBlogPals

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

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

Sunday Prayer: Lamentation

Go away from me, O God.
You overpower my life
and divide it ruthlessly:
the chaff from the wheat,
the longing from the glorifying,
the entrenched from the freeing,
the comfortable from the necessary.
You melt my heart
(like sap in the spring,
like snow in the winter)
until there is nothing left, for
your zeal consumes my very being.
For your sake, I breathe
and by your grace only, I live
but oh! that you would let me hide
from your gaze and take shelter
in the shadow of your wings,
rather than stand so bare
in your unrelenting light.
I am without peace
because you call me to the fullest life.
I am without rest
because you call me to utter faithfulness.
I say again: Go away from me, O God,
you are too much. I cannot
contain your eternal fire;
I cannot
be content
in your holy rage.
When I want to turn away from death,
you command my courage
to witness life;
when I (seem to) find my stride in life,
you deliver death as an ax
at the root.
I am cut down;
my life is lost to me
like a leaf swirling away in a flood.
Have mercy, LORD —
you have teased me and I
have been too easily seduced.
By your grace,
turn away.
You are my ever-present trouble;
save me at long last
and let me go.

cross-posted at RevGalBlogPals