Melted

What the hell do any of us know, O Eternal Mystery?

While we worship constancy and might,
mountains melt and remold like wax.

While we sing hymns in echoing caverns,
the Spirit waits upon those in prison.

While we pray to love our enemies,
the Church itself nurtures violence.

While we thirst for truth and order,
we get drunk on self-righteousness.

While we say “Believe us — here is God, and there too!”
a prescient slave girl is considered a threat to orthodoxy.

While we await God’s redemption from evil,
our loyalties fly high for military domination.

While we stake our place “so help me, God,”
creation is wise enough to tremble and bow.

While we die the daily death of change,
your love remains in all and through all.

You tried to make it known and living;
we preferred to make it certain and stagnant.

What the hell do any of us know, O Eternal Mystery?

on the Narrative and Revised Common Lectionaries,
cross-posted at RevGalBlogPals

Solomon’s Prayer

O God, our Creator and our Sovereign,
there is no God like you — not in heaven
and certainly not on earth — no other god
who keeps promises and is faithful in love.

Our lives are before you, day by day,
and our hearts are full of wonder
as they strive to know you presence
and to remain in your ways.

Promise that you will never leave us,
not in this generation or the next.
Promise that we will always be able to find you
when we pay attention to our lives and our neighbors.

Even though we can never know you completely,
in your love we ask you to know us always —
to hear our prayers, to recognize our needs, to care
when our nights are long with despair and our days with grief.

O God, our Hope and our Instigation,
we are not our own. We are your people
and we are your indwelling (however limited).
Judge us accordingly when we obscure your presence.

When we injure one another, when we break promises,
declare our sin and compel our reparation of injury.
When we make idols of ourselves, of wealth, of success,
of the created world or even of faith, have mercy on those we harm.

Let your name be glorified by our reflection of you, not sullied.
Let foreigners and enemies know of your goodness by the ways
you dwell in and between us, and let us likewise recognize you
in them, so that we might not be foreigners or enemies anymore.

No people, no faith tradition, no house of worship
can contain you, O Most High, but let us make way for you
so that our egos and evils and insecurities do not discourage
your cause in heaven and on earth or your faithfulness to your promises.

By your mercy we will follow your paths;
by your grace we will keep your laws in love;
by your name we will dedicate ourselves to one another;
on earth by day and night, and in heaven when time is no more.

Amen.

on 1 Kings 8; cross-posted at RevGalBlogPals

What Wondrous Love

What love you have for us, O Merciful One:
the sparrow chirrups faithfully and
the daffodil sprouts through snow,
joy greets us daily with the sunrise
and grace finds us every night.

What love you have for us, O Forgiving One:
that new visions reveal your relentless hope
though the world is overwrought with war,
that your foolishness surprises our hearts
when cynicism has corrupted our wonder.

What love you have for us, O Beautiful One:
trouble has yielded to delight and
miracles have greeted us in peace,
gladness has overflowed our hearts
and redemption knows our names.

What love you have for us, O Merciful One!

cross-posted at RevGalBlogPals

Waiting for Peace

You are the beginning of all life, O God,
and the foundation of all hope.
You are the joy from which springs peace
and the peace from which blooms love.
We turn our hearts toward you:

Be kind to these weary bones, we pray.
This life withers like grass and
our spirits faint in search of your salvation,
yet we seek your glory rather than our own
because your promises do not fail or fade.

Merciful God, hear those who are crying out
for rough paths to be made smooth,
for treacherous climbs to be made low.
Speak comfort to your people, O God Most High.
Assure the oppressed that their relief is long overdue.

Hasten the day when justice is realized,
when children are safe from predators
and creation is safe from selfish consumption.
Turn aside our leaders from greed and vanity,
so the most vulnerable might be unburdened.

We wait for you, Mighty and Magnificent God,
more than the sun waits to crest the horizon,
more than the river waits to carve its path,
more than the stars wait to dissolve into fire.
Our beginning, our end: we await your coming.

 

Upcoming Events

In the coming weeks and months, catch up with me at the following events:

VBS FOR CHURCH LEADERS 2015: June 15-18
As part of the Center for Progressive Renewal’s weeklong webinar series for church leaders, I’ll be hosting an hour-long webinar on Tuesday, June 16, entitled “Free to Believe, You and Me: Out-of-the-box children’s faith formation.” Join me for ideas to empower and enliven children’s spirituality in your congregation — and maybe teach a thing or two to grown-ups, too.

THERE’S A WOMAN IN THE PULPIT BOOK SIGNING: June 28
Attendees of the UCC’s General Synod in Cleveland at the end of June can find me and six other fabulous RevGals on Sunday morning in the convention center exhibit hall signing copies of the RevGalBlogPals’ newest book, There’s A Woman in the Pulpit: Christian Clergywomen Share Their Hard Days, Holy Moments & the Healing Power of Humor.

REVive 2015 – FINDING FAITH WHERE YOU LIVE: October 11-14
Where you are impacts how you are, according to a multitude of surveys on the best places to live, the healthiest states, the happiest small cities, the best companies to work for, and more. Where you are correlates to how you are. So friends, where are you? And how is your faith doing where you are? Develop practices for finding faith where you live at REVive 2015, a continuing education event of RevGalBlogPals. (20 Contact Hours – 2 CEUs)

Rachael HeckenbergInterested in having me speak at an event or facilitate a retreat? Drop me an email to brainstorm a speaking engagement — and in the meantime, I hope to see you online or in person at these events!