Monthly Archives: September 2013

Chicago- September 22, 2013

After a particularly violent week in Chicago…

God of grace and peace,

We gather together today
as a people in need of understanding.
Violence rocks our city and we are at a loss–
-to know how to grieve
-to know how to comfort
-to know how and when to change
-to know when to intervene
-to know where justice lies
-to know how to be merciful.

Quiet us this Sabbath.
Open our hearts to one another,
our minds to learning,
our souls to peace
as we hear the prayers of this congregation.

[read aloud the prayer cards]

For Chicago, we pray for peace.
For our gangs, we pray for reconciliation.
For our police, we pray for safety and that they love justice and show mercy.

We acknowledge those prayers of delight
which are simply pondered in our hearts
and those expressions of pain
which never make it past groans into words.
Hear those prayers as well.

[pause for silent prayer]

Teach us to rest in one another this Sabbath.
Teach us how to best love one another.

Remind us that peace is a commitment that must be renewed daily.
All the day long this commitment works for good in the world.
Peace stirs up in us a desire to serve
to live in community
and to devote our ways to walking in the living traditions of Jesus
who welcomed the excluded
forgave the offender
bridged the gaps
and cared for the vulnerable.
Jesus demonstrated a different way of being in the world.

Teach us to live this Sabbath way.

Blessed be.

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Filed under Justice, Peace, Public Theology, Sabbath

Never Forget: a Christian’s reflection on 9/11

I am breaking with form here to post a reflection which is also a prayer:  Jesus had a vision of what it means to “Never forget” (the mantra of 9/11): that is, the open stance of “Do this in remembrance…”.

The open table might be the BEST metaphor for peaceable living and reversing the enemy-making process we are so good at.

In order to “Never Forget”: let us live openly, welcoming all who will come to the divine banquet of fellowship.

 

So out of remembrance:

Break bread with your neighbors today

Give to the poor

Encourage the weary

Welcome the excluded

Break the chains that bind

Out of remembrance…

 

Out of remembrance…

Refuse to be exclusive…

Refuse to ignore the needs around you…

Refuse to gain when others suffer…

Beloved, let us love one another.

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Filed under Change, Grace, Justice, Peace, Public Theology

On the discipline of “Sabbath”– September 8, 2013

Gracious God,

Our gatherings are a pause
–a respite from the vicissitudes of daily life.
Or at least they should be.

Calm our spirits and gently remind us
that there is no where else we need to be
no better thing we could be doing
no issue so pressing
that we cannot or should not take the time
to breathe in your love.

Teach us to bask in your Holy Sabbath
Even in the times of our greatest joys
and most worrisome concerns.

On this Sabbath we lift up in quiet commitment
the joys and concerns of this congregation:

[read the prayer cards]

And we acknowledge those joys so overwhelming and sweet
they cannot be spoken aloud
And those concerns which burden us so deeply we are at a loss for words.
Hear those prayers as well.

[pause for silent prayer]

Teach us to set aside time for renewal
so that we have the resources to live up to our commitments.
For we know that love is a commitment which must be renewed daily.
All the day long it is working for good in the world.
It stirs up in us a desire to serve
and to live peaceably.
And to devote our days to walking in the living traditions of Jesus
to care for the poor, and welcome the excluded.

In your quiet gentleness
teach us how to best love one another.

Blessed be!

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Filed under Peace, Sabbath