Sunday Prayer – April 22, 2018

Oh God who made all that we see and all that we are; Author and Creator who declared the earth and us “Good”…oh whimsical, witty Artist who designed platypuses, hippos, ostriches and slugs…and rainbows and azaleas, eyebrows and elbows. Oh Creator who delights us daily; Oh God of Wonder who keeps creating, keeps inviting….

Open our hearts, Lord. Open our eyes, open our ears.

In an act we can barely comprehend, you gave up that which was most precious to you for the good of us all. You invite us to self-examination, with the help of your Spirit, to learn to trust you so much that we too surrender and release even those things we think are ours – our time, our agenda, the illusion of control; the endless pursuit of MORE, a sense of power or rightness; unforgiveness; perhaps we bear an injury that goes so deep we cannot imagine abundant life with such a wound.

David reminds us, in the Psalms, that you are good to everyone and every thing, that everything You do is suffused with grace, compassion and love. Jesus repeatedly tells us of streams of living water, inviting us to come and drink. Sometimes we are so parched, God, but we don’t even know it. You stand before us – nail-scarred, compassionate, understanding our complex, messy lives and our pain and struggles – and you whisper, “Come! Taste and see!”

Thank you, God, for this incredible gift of Love. Whether we are only sipping or gulping, may we be inspired to share your love and living water with others who are just as parched and thirsty.


“Get Up, Neo”

I am a big fan of movies I’ve already watched. I especially enjoy having one playing as I cook; a movie I’ve seen does not require my full attention. I can follow along without watching,  as I chop and stir, but pause my culinary efforts – when I can – for the good parts. I particularly love the Pixar movies, and any movie with a grand story, the arc of an epic (like “Lord of the Rings”) where the battles between good and evil feel truer, deeper and more timeless than mere “story.”

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Sunday Prayer – April 1, 2018 (Easter)

Good and gracious God –

We hardly know what to make of this day. We hardly know what to make of the amazing miracle that occurred more than 2000 years ago, and – if we have eyes to see – keeps occurring, day after day after day. It’s all around us and it’s happening in us – lives transformed, peace held in the midst of storm, love and connection flourishing in the midst of darkness and fear. It’s in the hope and joy and laughter of children. It’s in a baptism. We look around to find trees, azaleas and daffodils bursting once again with life after winter’s apparent death; how could we not see that renewal and resurrection are woven into the very fabric of our entire universe?!

And Christ – Christ came to show us that, to remind us, to help us see…to open the eyes of the blind. The man who was God, the man whose very clothes held healing; the God who wept, whose heart broke for His people; the lover of our souls – He not only LIVED but is ALIVE.

He is risen! The cross is empty, the tomb is empty. He walks among us! His work is finished! Feel your heart leap for joy!

And eyewitnesses then, and eyewitnesses now are proclaiming everywhere that improbable, amazing mystery, the greatest miracle of all.

Lord, you can hear every thought and know every heart. You know that life is not simple, but full – overflowing with seasons of joy, pain, fear, wonder, awe, connection, loneliness, frustration, abandonment, great love and great loss. You know our dual natures – we are flattened by the crushing weight of our own failures, hiding from you — while also desperately yearning to be known, loved and held. We are here today because we know we need you more than anything else…we are here because we followed your Son to this place.

On this day, Dear God, grant us the renewal we seek, whether for the first time or the 300th. Fulfill in us your promises of a clean heart, a renewed spirit, a deeper love for our fellow humans as we share this precious gift of our planet together. We all, as the children just sang, have a place in God’s choir.