Lent 19: Joy

Joy! Joy!

The evergreens stand tall
to proclaim it:
Joy! Joy!

The sun rises
in announcement:
Joy! Joy!

The ocean dances
to its rhythm:
Joy! Joy!

The infant giggles
to delight in it:
Joy! Joy!

I listen past my fears
to the chorus:
Joy! Joy!

Let my heart be
unrestrained:
Joy! Joy!

Pilgrim Firs

Lent 18: What to Pack

Jesus said to them, “When I sent you out without a purse, bag, or sandals, did you lack anything?” They said, “No, not a thing.” He said to them, “But now, the one who has a purse must take it, and likewise a bag.” (Luke 22:35-36a)

Let my purse
be full of prayer
(empty of self-righteousness)

Let my backpack
hold a stockpile of silence
(not an airbag of empty words)

Let my sandals
be swift to meet you in the world
(washed clean of my dusty cynicism)

Let my suitcase
carry curiosity for learning
(without the burden of presumption)

Let my hat
focus my faith on courage
(not distract or hide me from new adventures)

Lent 17: The Mountain Lion

I am but a poor wood mouse, scurrying to the Mountain Lion for refuge.

I am but a frightened pup, looking for the Lightening to soothe my fear of thunder.

I am but a lost lamb, seeking guidance from the prowling Lion to lead me home.

I am but flesh, turning toward the Raging Fire for renewal, praying for comfort from the Holy Wildness, asking a blessing from the Powerful Hand that commands the seas.

I do not know what I ask, I do not know truly who you are, though I foolishly presume your tameness. Have mercy, O God.

“Alas for you who desire the day of the LORD! Why do you want the day of the LORD? It is darkness, not light; as if someone fled from a lion and was met by a bear.” (Amos 5:18-19a)

Third Sunday in Lent

Welcoming Jesus,
We come to you at the well
from all walks & seasons of life,
from all circumstances,
and in every mood.
Some of us are eager, curious.
Some of us are defensive and worried.
Some of us are tired or lonely.
But most of all, we are
thankful you’re here.
Please be gracious and kind
as we pour out our stories.
Hear our grief…
Know our joy…
Receive our questions.
We still have not learned to be
satisfied by your abundance.
Pour out life for us yet again
and renew us by your mercy.
Amen.

Lent 16: For the Elders

“After Paul and Barnabas had appointed elders in each church,
with prayer and fasting the whole community entrusted them
to the LORD in whom they had come to believe.”
Let us pray for the elders of the church:

May the priests and pastors,
deacons and elders,
ushers and boards
be filled with loving wisdom,
swift to listen and unafraid of change.

May the people — all the people of the church —
be compelled and convicted to strive for
the fullness of God within us,
ever among two or more,
diverse but undivided in Christ.

And may the knowledge of the elders
be told — and heard — as a living faith story
so that the whole church community
is empowered to participate
in its continuation.