Poetry Prayer Story

Imago Dei in the Aftermath

Pandemic. Protests. Uprisings. Fires. Vigils. Agent Provocateurs. Militarized Police. White Supremacy. All of it right here where I live. Part of me has been overwhelmed by it all this week. Part of me is stuck in the horror of watching police officers kill George Floyd. Another part of me is stunned by the numbers of cities joining in the uprisings. I’m lamenting not being able to be out on the streets helping because of the pandemic. And, if I am totally honest, I am proud of the relentless demand for change that has begun here and spread across the country. Still, the words are hard to find. Consequently, I am sharing this poem, “Imago Dei” from my book, Barefoot Theology (Wipf & Stock, 2013). Be safe. Be well.

                             Imago Dei

On midsummer's eve, when the world is wrapped in magic,
all the children of the earth gather in the dreaming place. 
Mysteries call louder on this night than on all other nights. 
Whispers carried on ocean and mountain breezes lead
children to gather in the dreaming place.
They laugh and dance and splash in the magic surrounding them. 
The moon rises higher, children quiet in the whispering winds 
and ask the questions of their hearts.
One small girl stands and says,
My daddy doesn’t look like my mommy and
I don’t look like either of them. 
So who does God look like?
The answers are quick and from all around.
Some of us together.
All of us.
None of us because maybe there is no God. 
The winds themselves laugh and dance wildly though the gathering. 
Then they speak with the voice of One. 
You ask what the Holy One looks like? 
Do you not know? 
All of you bear my likeness.
Children wait, breath held, still.
I am the first light of morning;
I washed some of you in its soft fairness. 
I am the pureness of deep night;
I wrapped some of you in this sacred darkness. 
I am the fire of the setting sun;
 some of you have this burning in your hair. 
I am the richness of the soil—
red, brown, yellow, and black—
as are many of you. 
I am the depth of the ocean;
some of you wear these greens,
blues, and grays in your eyes.
I am the warmth of the summer sun
found in all your smiles and laughter. 
I am the stillness of winter snow
resting within each of you.
What does the Holy One look like? 
I am all the colors of the earth.
I am the softness of early spring
and the wildness of thunder. 
My reflection is in the ocean
and in your eyes. 
I am the first light of day
and the last dark of night. 
I am the power of the wind
and the gentleness of misty rain.
Look for me in yourselves,
each other,
and in all creation.
 Do not miss the holy in the setting sun,
the purple twilight,
the darkest night,
or the brightest noonday.
Wherever you are, I am.
 I am in your laughter and your tears. 
 I am in waking and dreaming. 
 If you want to know what the Holy One looks like,
 you will see me wherever you turn.
The winds quiet and the skies grow lighter. 
The little girl laughs
as the winds play through her hair. 
The children drift away from the dreaming place. 
Each takes a little of the magic of midsummer
and wakes bathed in the first light of day.

RCL – Year A – Trinity Sunday, First Sunday after Pentecost – June 7, 2020
Genesis 1:1-2:4a
Psalm 8
2 Corinthians 13:11-13
Matthew 28:16-20

Photo: CC0image by Pexels

liturgy Prayer

Prayer Litany for George Floyd

Litany of Prayer for George Floyd originally written for an Interfaith Vigil on 5/28/2020

Based on Psalm 130, Quran Chapter 5, Verses 27-32, Matthew 22:36-40

One:    Out of the depths we cry to you, Holy One. Hear the cries from our lips and from our hearts. As we lament the death of George Floyd, and all the other unarmed black men and women who have died at the hands of police.

All:      Strengthen our commitment to ending lethal white supremacy and the racism it needs to thrive.

One:    Lord of the worlds, you have told us that to murder one soul is like murdering the whole of humanity. Likewise to save one is to save all of humanity. If we have been silent when police have killed our unarmed black siblings, we share the weight of their deaths. Show us the way to forgiveness.

All:      Strengthen our commitment to ending lethal white supremacy and the racism it needs to thrive.

One:    Almighty One, we have heard your call to love our neighbors as ourselves. Anything that divides us one from another and allows us to dehumanize and devalue any of your children does not come from you; hate and fear always come from our human hearts. Reveal in us the truth of your love.

All:      Strengthen our commitment to ending lethal white supremacy and the racism it needs to thrive.

One:    We call on you, Giver of Mercy, when peaceful protests are invaded by violence and destruction, when calls for justice are buried under rubble created by those who no longer care for the good of all. Teach us your mercy as hope in you guides us to a new morning.

All:      Strengthen our commitment to ending lethal white supremacy and the racism it needs to thrive.

One:    Healer of the World, may we heed your call to change the evil of white supremacy and racism with our hands, our tongues, and our hearts. Awaken us to act with lovingkindness and mercy even as we seek justice for George Floyd and too many others. Guide us in the way of peace.

All:      Strengthen our commitment to ending lethal white supremacy and the racism it needs to thrive.

One:    Faithful God, you continually call us to care for the vulnerable among us, to live with mercy and love. As our tears flow and our anger rises, remind us that we are to love as you love. Unite us in this grief, draw us nearer to one another, and move us to action. Let us hold these moments of unity close to our hearts that we may dismantle systems of injustice and build new systems based on mercy, justice, and love for all people.

All:      Strengthen our commitment to ending lethal white supremacy and the racism it needs to thrive. Unite us in love for you and for all your people as we commit to creating a world where justice becomes a reality for all.

In all your names, we pray. Amen.

These are not words that go with the the Pentecost texts, and yet they must. If you are looking for sermon help, try here where these thoughts came before George Floyd’s murder and the events continuing to unfold in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

RCL – Year A – Pentecost – May 31, 2020
Acts 2:1-21 or Numbers 11:24-30
Psalm 104:24-34, 35b
1 Corinthians 12:3b-13 or Acts 2:1-21
John 20:19-23 or John 7:34-39

Photo: CC0image by Jackson David


A Pastor’s Prayer in the midst of Pandemic

Shepherding God, my desire is to follow you to those green pastures and still waters. I want to rest in you. Yet, rest is rare in these days of crisis, and stillness if fraught with exhaustion. Caring for your people, and finding the right path through this deep valley weighs heavily on my spirit. I often forget that you are with me and that it is your ways that I seek. Awaken me once again to your presence that I may live in your pastures even now.

Restoring and renewing God, you know my heart even before I do. You know the fears I will not give voice to, and you know the dreams I hardly dare to acknowledge. May the whispers of your spirit bring a new assurance and restore peace to my soul. With every budding flower and every soaring hawk, I am reminded that you are at work restoring Creation. Yours is always a promise of new life. Grant me the courage to trust that promise.

Ever-present God, it isn’t evil that fear, exactly. It is the anger, the despair that drives some people to aggression or selfishness. I fear the ignorance propagated by inadequate public leadership. I fear the desperation that grows in so many of my neighbors. I fear the frailty of this body of mine. Enter into these fears, God of life, and renew a right spirit within me.

Comforting God, you are present even now amid COVID-19. While faith will not protect me or anyone else from this virus, your Love can guide humanity if we let it. We can show up for our neighbors who have lost loved ones, employment, hope. We can share resources and not hoard them for ourselves. We can find hope for this world, for humanity, for a future unlike our past. If we rely on your Love, it becomes possible to address the brokenness highlighted by this crisis. Guide us all onto the path that will end all fear of the “other” and heal divisions we have created.

Merciful and healing God, I am at a loss for words when it comes to the suffering of so many. It is hard to believe that healing will come. It is hard to believe that the whole world won’t sink into despair that is impossible to rise out of. Yet, you promise all who seek you will find goodness and mercy. May this be true for those who are grieving… for those who struggle with symptoms of mental illness… for those who have no hope… for those who believe the lies of the politicians… for the politicians themselves… Guide us all to the cup that overflows.

God of life and Love, you have opened the gate of possibility for us all. We can give in to fear or we can choose Love. Forgive me for the moments when Love seems impossible and wholeness seems elusive. You are the gate to new life, to abundant life. Abundance of joy and Love and forgiveness and mercy and so much more are possible even in this time. Fill me with gratitude for all that I have and enable me to pass through your gate to live a life of generosity and grace.

In gratitude and hope, I pray. Be with all who struggle to live in hope and Love. Be with all who risk their lives for the sake of others. Be with all who are surrounded by death. May every human being experience the wonders of your Love and the life of abundance you freely offer. Awaken the hearts and minds of every dreamer and visionary to speed the day of hope and healing for all people. In the meantime, teach me anew what it means to trust in you – in your presence, in your Love, in your grace, in your mercy, in your forgiveness that I may share your abundance with all whom I meet. In the name of the One who came to teach us how to Love one another, Amen.

If you are in need of sermon help, try here.

RCL – Year A – Fourth Sunday of Easter – May 3, 2020
Acts 2:42-47
Psalm 23
1 Peter 2:19-25
John 10:1-10

Photo: CC0image by 9883074

liturgy Poetry Prayer

A Confessional Prayer

Ever-patient God, 
Jeremiah's ancient words stir within me
You let truth tumble from his lips
down through the ages
to land on my restless spirit
sour grapes are frequently easier to ingest
than the word You would inscribe on my heart
this troubling truth awakens desire in me
yet do I reach for society's sour fruit
or the sweetness of Your words and ways?

Maker of mercy and miracles,
the psalmist sings of Your help and Your hope
while I continue to reach for grapes
knowing my lips will pucker and I will remain hungry
my reluctance to accept the sweet abundance You offer
makes me wonder if I am wrestling with You
or with my own misguided need to be strong and fr
please hold me fast until I hear you calling my name
one more time, breaking the spell woven
by society's deceitful lies
masquerading as nourishing,desirable fruit
though they serve only to sour all
may I have the courage to endure Your grip
and the wisdom to receive Your word (again)

Fierce and gentle God,
how often I have turned from Your ways
let go of Your promises
as if Your word means nothing
as fragile and fleeting as ash in the wind
Your love is endures through all things, all times, all places
when pain is overwhelming, You abide
when I am lost and wandering, You remain
when I insist on eating those deceitful grapes
You wait with honey in hand
for that moment of repentant return
how is it that any of us are worthy of Your love
Your mercy
Your forgiveness
Your eternal patience?

Giver of life and love,
Forgive me for choosing simple, self-serving actions
over the complexity of Your ways
of loving neighbor and self
of serving You and creation
Forgive me when I pester You with trivial concerns
and the sourness of my prayers distances me
from the sweetness of Your love
Forgive me when I fail to turn to you with gratitude
with full recognition for all that is good in my life
Forgive me each time I don't see You
in a neighbor's need
Forgive me for thinking I am on my own in the wilderness
as if You aren't there
along with that immeasurable cloud of witnesses

Gracious God,
write Your word on my heart anew
even knowing that we will wrestle again (and again)
and my pestering prayers
won't always be filled with true need
my deepest desire is to live in Your abundance
build Your kingdom
travel Your holy ways
and embody Your love
I am yours


RCL – Year C – Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost – October 13, 2019
Jeremiah 31:27-34 with Psalm 119:97-104 or
Genesis 32:22-31 with Psalm 121 and
2 Timothy 3:14-4:5 and
Luke 18:1-8

Photo: CC0image by Elias Sch

liturgy Prayer Uncategorized

A Plumb Line Prayer

Amazing and merciful God, how easy it is for us to forget that we are your delight. You we rejoice when we follow your holy ways and envision a future of goodness and grace for all your people. We blame you for divisions and strife. We justify our wars by saying that you are on our side. We rationalize the abuse of our enemies by telling ourselves that they are not your people, that their sinfulness exceeds your tolerance. In truth, you have told us that we are to love our neighbors indiscriminately. Moreover, we are to love those with the greatest need more fiercely and more immediately. Shower us with your mercy, O God, until we live by the plumb line you have repeatedly dropped in our midst.

Patient and steadfast God, you continuously call us to live in peace, leaving none behind. We hear your call. We know that your love endures forever. What you ask of us is not beyond our reach; it is not higher than the heavens or on the outer edges of the sea. For all of Creation to live in justice is not an impossibility you hold up to tease us with what we cannot have. If we trust you, it is possible for us to turn aside from our human ways. It is possible for us to love with your love. Enter our lives anew, Holy One, silence our fears and smother our distrust that we may live in harmony with all.

God of wonder and mystery, you love us still. You love us when we are filled with fear. You love us when we are filled with hate. You love us when we are filled with judgment. You love us when we think we are better than our neighbors. You love us when we think are neighbors are better than us. You love us when we blame others for creating the chaos that flows through the world. You love us when we abdicate responsibility for engaging in justice work. You love us through all our foolishness. However, you delight in us when we act with love and seek to bring your realm into the here and now. Flood every corner of our being with the strength of your Spirit that we may have the courage to love with your love, always.

God of near and far places, how foolish we are when we think you are limited to one people, one language, one religion, one way of life. All people are stamped with your image. Every language has many names for you and words of praise for all that you are. At core, each religious tradition seeks to teach your holy ways and encourage us to follow them. You are the giver of all life. If we claim to follow in Christ’s way there is no room for hatred of peoples from other countries, those who speak other languages, those who call you by different names, and those whose culture is not our own. If we belong to Christ, then racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia, misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, and all the other labels that thrive on our fear have no place in us. Heal our brokenness. May we live as one body with many parts.

Living, loving God, we are grateful for your patient love. Over and over again you call us by name, claim us as your beloved, and fill us with your Spirit. Hear our gratitude for your presence among us, your arms that hold us, your vision that sees our wholeness. May we trust in your love, your grace, your forgiveness as we seek to embody Christ more fully. May the praises we sing and the words of gratitude we whisper transform our fear into hope, our hatred into joy, our judgment into grace, and our ambivalence and apathy into action. We are your people. Your Spirit lives and moves in us. Let us trust in you enough to recognize you in ourselves and in all whom we meet.


RCL – Year C – Fifth Sunday after Pentecost – July 14, 2019
Amos 7:7-17 with Psalm 82 or
Deuteronomy 30:9-14 with Psalm 25:1-10
Colossians 1:1-14
Luke 10:25-37

Photo: CC0 image by lumix

liturgy Prayer

Wind & Flame: A Pastoral Prayer for Pentecost


God of wind and flame, come among us once more. Set our lives on fire with a passion for justice. Send winds mighty enough to clear away our fear and apathy. We long to be sure of your presence and power. We desire certainty of your grace, forgiveness, and love. Yet, we are slow to turn to you, to remember the stories of our faith, and to rely on your goodness. On this day of Pentecost, come to us anew. Let us remember with more than words that we are one in you. Each of us gifted, each of us hearing in our own way, each of us created in your image – all of us with the purpose of glorifying you by bringing Divine Love into the world. May this be the mission, the purpose, the passion of all your people.

Ever-speaking, always incarnate God, surprise us out of our complacency and ambivalence. As your Spirit moves among us, may we see our neighbors with new understanding and compassion. May we hear in all the angry words around us the underlying fear and anxiety of being left out, forgotten, misunderstood, abused, neglected, or dismissed. When we would respond to hurt with greater hurt, show us the way of Love, a way that brings healing, wholeness, and hope. When we would hide from the needs of the world, lead us to actions that bring unity, justice, and equality. When we would tell ourselves that our voices don’t matter, remind us that you are the Word-become-flesh for the very purpose of reminding us of the power of words, and the actions that follow. May all of us who call upon you, feel the force of your winds and heat of your flames calling us to more life and love than we can ever imagine.

God of the heights and depths, raise us up! We so easily sink into the muck and mire and messiness of everyday life, seldom lifting even our eyes to the beauty of the world. We also forget that you are in the deepest, most lonely places we can go just as much as you are in the joyous moments of community and connection. There is no place we can go where you are not already there. We are never apart from you. No one is far from you. Raise us up that we may recognize you in every face, in every moment, without exception. Place us all on equal ground that the beauty and wonder of Creation may shine in and through us all. May your Love unite what human beings have divided.

Momentous and amazing God, call to us in the midst of the chaos and the clamor. Shout out your claim on us until we respond to you. We act as if we are each on our own, without connection or responsibility to those around us. Yet, you have shown us what Love looks like – in thought, word, and deed. You have shown us again and again the power you have to transform the least among us to the greatest, and to humble those who think themselves great. We are not alone. We are united in you and through you – individuals connected to neighbors, congregations connected to communities, communities to cities and towns, cities and towns to states, states to this nation, this nation to other nations, all to your Creation. Burn away all our claims to independence. May we grasp the power of interdependence forged in Love.

God of us all, on this Pentecost day, be with us. Rekindle the fires that inspire your people throughout the earth. Ignite in us a Love that cannot be extinguished. We say that there is room for all in your house and at your table. May today be the day when we make this a lived reality. May none be excluded, ignored, overlooked, dismissed, devalued or hated by any who call your name. May the cleansing winds and fires of your Spirit create anew the Body of Christ here and elsewhere. May we honor you by embracing your Spirit of fierce Love and radical inclusion as we seek to embody you for all whom we meet.
We pray in gratitude for your patience, your mercy, your forgiveness, and your love for us that never ends. In the name of the One sent to teach us the ways of Love. Amen.

RCL – Year C -Pentecost – June 9, 2019
Acts 2:1-21 or Genesis 11:1-9
Psalm 104:24-34, 35b
Romans 8:14-17 or Acts 2:1-21
John 14:8-17 [25-27]

Photo: CC0 image by Michael Schwarzenberger

Bidding Prayer liturgy Prayer

Bidding Prayer for Advent Love


With hopes that we, like Mary, may find favor with God, let us join together in praying for all who share the sacred journey to Bethlehem.
People may quietly or silently voice their prayers
God who leads through example, be with all who seek the Christ-child who waits for us. Remind us that road is long and wide enough for all who endeavor to see you. As we prepare to offer our gifts to the newborn king, open our hearts. Open our hearts to make room for the extravagance of your love for us and for the whole of creation. May the love we celebrate this day, flow through us into the world.
Restore us, O God;
Let your face shine that we might be saved.

As we move through these last Advent days, let us pray for those who are in need of shelter, sanctuary, or safety.
People may quietly or silently voice their prayers
Holy One whose light proclaims the way of love for the whole of Creation, guide us to the day when hatred, fear, and oppression have no place in our lives. Mary and Joseph found safe harbor in a stable and Christ was born into these humble surroundings. You tell us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. May our love for our neighbors be demonstrated in our actions – building homes, welcoming refugees, and protecting children who dream of a life of safety and possibilities.
Restore us, O God;
Let your face shine that we might be saved.

As we remember the joyful meeting between Mary and Elizabeth, let us pray for all who gather in worship this day, near and far.
People may quietly or silently voice their prayers
God who broke into the world to draw us closer to you, unite us in our love for you. While we rush from one holiday activity to another, pass judgement on the celebrations of others, and forget the beauty and wonder of your love, remind us. Remind us that you are more Mystery than we can possibly know. All our traditions may lead us to you, but they separate us from one another. Let us see the gifts others bring and may our hearts leap with joy in recognizing you in everyone we meet.
Restore us, O God;
Let your face shine that we might be saved.

Remembering the promises of old, promises of the One who would bring peace. Let us pray for all who work to bring peace into the world
People may quietly or silently voice their prayers
God of steadfast love, you love us even when we forget to love you, our neighbors, ourselves, or creation. We have heard your call to love and we find it so much harder than it ought to be. We justify our wars, our violent ways, our fear of change, our racism, and all the ways we perpetuate systems built on oppression. You wait for us to remember your holy ways of love and justice. As we enter Bethelem this year, shine your love into our broken fearful places, those in ourselves and our churches, and those in our country and our world. Call us once again into wholeness, peace and love. And may we have the courage to respond.
Restore us, O God;
Let your face shine that we might be saved.

Anticipating, once again, the gift of the Christ-child, let us give thanks for all the blessings we have been given.
People may quietly or silently voice their prayers
God who loves without limits or conditions, we praise you for true gift of your love for us. A Child born so long ago leads us in your holy ways. In our gratitude, may we have the courage to embody your love with joy and faithfulness so that Child may never be forgotten. Hear our prayers of gratitude and praise for all the ways in which you fill our lives with hope, peace, joy, and love.
Restore us, O God;
Let your face shine that we might be saved. Amen.

RCL Year C – Fourth Sunday of Advent – December 23, 2018
Micah 5:2-5a
Luke 1:46b-55 or Psalm 80:1-7
Hebrews 10:5-10
Luke 1:39-45 [46-55]word

Photo: CC0 image by Gerd Altmann

Poetry Prayer

The Other Ones

You could see the woman, the widow, the one without means
she kept to the shadows, head down and quiet, even her steps were silent
as she approached the treasury box to add her two cents
far less than others put in

No one took notice
yet you saw her and spoke of her sacrifice and her value
You did not let her go unseen, one among many,
many so much prettier, shinier, showier
who wanted to be seen giving what they would not miss
in a way that spoke of their own significance
and drew attention away from those whose value
they overlooked with training and intention

A widow whose name has not been spoken in thousands of years
acted out Your teachings and wanted nothing for her effort
and we still fail to see

We see her two copper coins and recognize (sometimes) the beauty of her gift
yet we still make it about the money and think that You are asking more of us
than we can possibly give

More than anything else You would like us to open our eyes as Bartimaeus did
and see the way You see and stop confusing money and possessions and success and power
with value and worth and humanity and belovedness

Who have we failed to notice hiding out on the margins where we cover them
in shadows and shades of undesirability?
Who holds their gifts out to us like two copper coins whose value isn’t measured in
dollars and cents?

You keep telling us to care for the widows, the poor, the orphans, the captives, the vulnerable
and we close our eyes tightly and clothe ourselves with importance and privilege
choosing not to be merciful or grace-filled or loving

It’s easier for us to keep our eyes closed to the pain-filled ones, the hungry ones, the lonely ones
the forgotten ones, the unwanted ones, the broken ones, the rejected one, the bullied ones,
all the other ones
whom You claim as beloved ones
and we choose not to see
because we are afraid
that we will become the unseen ones
and the foolish things we value might determine our own worth

And we tell ourselves that You can’t see through the illusion of perfection
we create to hide from ourselves

It’s time we learn the widow’s truth
no number of coins given or received could reflect her worth
no shadows could hide her from You

Grant us the courage to set aside the cloak of privilege
open our eyes and see
those other ones as Your beloved ones
as our loved ones
and reclaim and rename all those hiding ones
as neighbors, friends, family
members of One Body
One in You

RCL – Year B – Twenty-fifth Sunday after Pentecost – November 11, 2018
Ruth 3:1-5; 4:13-17
Psalm 127
1 Kings 17:8-16
Psalm 146
Hebrews 9:24-28
Mark 12:38-44

Photo: CC0 image by Michael Gaida

Bidding Prayer liturgy Prayer

Bidding Prayer for Vision


Come, let us pray for the Church throughout the world.
(silence or a time for people to quietly give voice to their concerns)
Patient God, your people have gathered throughout all generations to worship and sing your praises. Even today, your name is spoken around the world. May each community know the power of your presence and recommit to following you. While we are easily distracted and often lose track of your ways, you are always waiting to reclaim, restore, and re-form your church. Once again, reveal your vision to us, encouraging us to let go of all that prevents us from reflecting your love and glory. May we become the body of Christ needed here and now.
We seek you, O God.
Free us from all our fears.

Come, let us pray for the United Church of Christ gathered here and elsewhere.
(silence or a time for people to quietly give voice to their concerns)
Merciful God, may we remember the lessons you taught Job as the chaos of the world brings pain and suffering into our lives. Remind us that we do not always understand the mystery of your ways or recognize you at work in the world. While we strive to embody you love, keep us mindful that you are God of all, and we are not. Bless with wisdom and insight all those you have called into leadership, especially the Rev. Dr. John Dorhauer, our general minister and president and the Rev. Shari Prestemon, our Conference Minister. Open our eyes wide enough to recognize you,your claim on us, and your call of serving all.
We seek you, O God.
Free us from all our fears.

Come, let us pray for God’s people throughout the earth.
(silence or a time for people to quietly give voice to their concerns)
Eternal God, you have long-spoken your desires for us through the prophets of old and the prophets of now. Your love has remained steadfast for all your peoples from generation to generation no matter what we have done or what we have left undone. You ask us to love you, love our neighbors, love our selves, and love creation. We find it so hard to live in the abundance of your love. May we recognize your Spirit moving among us, guiding us, re-forming us in this moment.
We seek you, O God.
Free us from all our fears.

Come, let us pray for this country and all those who live within its borders.
(silence or a time for people to quietly give voice to their concerns)
Merciful God, show us again the difference between following you and following the leaders of this world. You envision unity and oneness where we see only difference and division. You would have us welcome caravans of immigrants and refugees. You would have us embrace our *Trans siblings. You would have us protect those who are vulnerable to hatred and ignorance. You would have us shelter and feed those who live in poverty. You would have us see you in those we have been taught to ignore, reject, or pass by. Jesus, son of David, have mercy on us! May the day quickly arrive when the abundance of this great nation is freely shared with all who have need and that your vision becomes our truth.
We seek you, O God.
Free us from all our fears.

Come, let us pray for all those who suffer in body, mind, or spirit.
(silence or a time for people to quietly give voice to their concerns)
Liberating God, free us from the limits of our vision. You see wholeness where we see brokenness. You see blessings where we see uselessness. You see value where we see worthlessness. You offer healing and hope when we turn away. Show us your mercy that we might bring joy where there is weeping, hope where there is despair, and love where there is fear. Bring compassion and tenderness where we bring judgement and rejection. You are God of all people, not just those we choose to see. Show us how to love with your love and see with your vision of wholeness and joy.
We seek you, O God.
Free us from all our fears.

Come let us pray for those who are grieving.
(silence or a time for people to quietly give voice to their concerns)
Healing God, you are the One who leads us from weeping to joy, from despair to hope. You remember us when others would forget. You claim as your own beloved even as we lose ourselves in the pain of loss. You see us when we cannot find our way. Breathe new life into all those who are grieving. Heal the wounds that bind us to yesterday and open us to the abundant possibilities of life in you.
We seek you, O God.
Free us from all our fears.

Come, let us give thanks to God for all the blessings we have received.
(silence or a time for people to quietly give voice to their concerns)
Generous God, over and over again you have reclaimed, restored, and re-formed your people, and we are thankful. We are thankful that your love for us never wavers and you patiently wait for us to return to you every time we lose our way. May our gratitude lead us to the wisdom gleaned from past experience, the possibilities for growth in the present, and the joy the future holds for us. You are ever blessing all the earth. May we be courageous enough to seek out your ways with gratitude and praise, bringing your vision into life.
We seek you, O God.
Free us from all our fears.

If you are looking for sermon help, try here.

RCL – Year B – Twenty-third Sunday after Pentecost – October 28, 2018
Job 42:1-6, 10-17
Psalm 34:1-8 [19-22]
Jeremiah 31:7-9
Psalm 126
Hebrews 7:23-28
Mark 10:46-52

Photo: CC0 image by Wokandapix

Poetry Prayer

A Poem for Trinity Sunday


Holy One,

I contemplate the sacred dance
and wonder when I will learn the steps
steps of peace, healing, hope
not just for a few
for all who yearn for freedom

You created all that is
as the Spirit hovered
and the Word spoke
and Wisdom beaconed
and the whole of You delighted in Creation

now we are tangled up in the limits of our language
trying to make You three and one
when You are always so much more
a Sacred Mystery breathing Life
and stirring visions

our lips have been burned clean
our sins have been blotted out
yet we remain outside your realm
(with guns in hand and fear holding us still)
which is close enough to reach
and too far for us to embody
because we have yet to believe
that which has always been:

Your love for us never ends
we can refuse to see it or claim it
we can deny it and avoid it
yet, we cannot separate ourselves from Love

what if the day is coming when our world is shaken
by the power of your glory
shaken so hard that we fall from doubt and disbelief
fear and hatred
apathy and ambivalence
into the truth of your delight in us?

what if we hover with the Spirit over Creation’s waters
and see only Love reflecting
an invitation to learn the steps of the dance
right now?

what if we hear the Word that sears our lips
and speak only grace, hope, and joy
echoing the song you’ve been singing from Earth’s beginning
longing for us to listen?

what if we follow Wisdom’s way
and create justice and offer mercy
until the world finds its rhythm
without violence
without destruction
without division?

may you remain patient with humanity
remain steadfast
until we claim your Love
share your Love
embody your Love

continue to shower us with forgiveness
until we know the truth
of your claim on us
and have the courage
to see you
in ourselves
in each other
in the whole of Creation

teach us to seek justice for all people
to love with your patience and compassion
and rely on You when we encounter the limits
of our bodies
of our minds
of our human ways

during this Pentecost season
blow through our lives
and set our holy heads on fire
that we may be the Church-Made-New
born again
born from above
born anew


For sermon help, try here.

RCL – Year B – Trinity Sunday – May 27, 2018
Isaiah 6:1-8
Psalm 29
Romans 8:12-17
John 3:1-17

Photo: CC0 image by Jill Wellington