Sunday, 23 July 2017

Spirit help us to pray

prayers for ourselves and others
Rom 8:26–39

responsive. invite people in the pauses to think and feel in response to the words that are spoken.

We do not know how to pray.
Spirit, help us to pray.

Spirit help us in our frailty, pause
Speak when words escape us,
sigh our deeper feelings
within the heart of God pause,
for we do not know how to pray.
Spirit, help us to pray.

We know all things work together for good,
for those who love Holy One, Holy Three, pause
our eyes still see wrong and bad, pause
our hands divide and harm, pause
our hearts tremble with fear, not love, pause
and we do not know how to pray.
Spirit, help us to pray.

We know that you are for us, God,
and none can be against us. pause
We feel the world against us, God, pause
we see difference as threat, pause
we do not understand the mystery, pause
and we do not know how to pray.
Spirit, help us to pray.

We know nothing can keep us from your love,
not death, not life, not height or depth
or past or present or anything to come: pause
what of hardships, though? pause
what of distress or persecution? pause
or famine, nakedness, oppression, war? pause
We want to stay within the love of God,
but we do not know how to pray.
Spirit, help us to pray.

Sunday, 16 July 2017

To God who searches

Psalm 139: 1–12, 23–24

Search me, O God,
know my heart.

Know when I sit, and when I rise,
discern my thoughts, my truths and lies.

Watch for when I travel forward,
when I stumble, fumble, wayward.

Search me, O God,
know my heart.

Listen to my speaking tongue,
anticipate its healing, and its harm.

Stay close to me, before, behind,
let me feel on my shoulder, your gentle hand.

Search me, O God,
know my heart.

I do not understand your wisdom,
cannot attain or show or fathom.

I can wonder; stand in awe
at ocean’s edge, feet wet on your shore.

Search me, O God,
know my heart.

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Your word, my feet

Psalm 119:105–112

my feet walk in your light,
my path is marked by your word.

I have promised my life to you,
I follow your Way of Love.

Afflicted, I call to you for life,
you teach me to trust your word.

Receive my praise, Holy One,
teach me your Way of Love.

I want control over my life,
but return to your holy word.

Tempted by tyranny and wickedness,
I keep to your Way of Love.

I delight in my heart in all your teaching,
my heritage is found in your word.

My heart inclines towards your own,
to live forever your Way of Love.

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Wisdom Incarnate

Matthew 11:16–18, 25–30

they shout at Wisdom,
why do you not dance
to our lively tunes?

they cry to Wisdom,
we are wailing, why
do you not mourn with us?

they accuse the messenger
announcing Wisdom, of demons,
heed not the call to turn

they accuse Wisdom
of gluttony and drunkenness,
of befriending the unworthy

Listen, you who shout at Wisdom,
cry and wail and accuse –
Wisdom’s deeds are Wisdom’s vindication.

Wisdom thanks the God of all,
Creator, sender of Wisdom to earth
and Spirit sustainer or Wisdom on earth

Wisdom whispers in the dark,
heard by those who stay awake,
hidden from those who cast long shadows

Wisdom utters an invitation
to the weary, the burdened, the tired:
I will give you rest.

Wisdom says, you shall learn from me
a way of ease and freedom, for
I am gentle and I am humble in my heart

Wisdom offers rest within that heart, Divine;
come to me, come all you weary,
for I have come for you.

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Sarah's turn

Sarah laughed

Genesis 21:1–7

as God promised,
though I had laughed to think
of motherhood, shocked to think
of motherhood, afraid
of motherhood now

but God promised
a child to us now, when
the bridge was crumbling
from disuse, the water under
long ago evaporated

was this promise
of new life to dry bones
a curse in disguise? of course
I laughed, preposterous
promise to bring to a desert
content to be a desert

who would promise
a son to a man
of a hundred years and counting?
yet here is the son God
promised Sarah and Abraham,
and I laugh more joy than fear –
laugh with me, all who hear:
I am a mother, as God promised,
and I will laugh you a river.

Sarah’s scowl

Genesis 21:8–14

the boys played as brothers
play having not yet learnt
to doubt their father’s love

the mothers watched, as rivals
watch, jealous of what she has,
blind to what is her own

and in a moment, the bow
snapped its arrow through thick
taut air, thwacked into its target

a mother’s love twisted the light
to cast shadows to follow them all;
and the father’s love had not seen its last test yet

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Hagar’s song

Genesis 21: 8–21

Sarah sent me far away
lest my son usurp her boy
in fortune, rank, or father’s love.

Abraham his wife obeyed,
for peace at home he gave
away his peaceful heart.

God had told him, so he said,
my son would prosper,
Ishmael would grow to be a nation.

Beneath the trees I laid him,
weak with hunger, dying.
Let me go first, I wept, I wept, I wept.

God heard my son cry out,
and spoke to me a promise:
Ishmael will grow to be a nation.

Before my eyes water of life,
I ran to my child, we drank,
we spilled our joy to grow seeds of hope.

I am Hagar, Sarah’s servant,
mother of the first born of Abraham;
God was with my son, grew Ishmael.

Sunday, 11 June 2017

gather them in

haikus for Matt 9:35–10:8

sheep scattered helpless
clouded tempest on green plane
shepherd calms the storm 

ears whisper ready
yellow ocean waves its growth
labour, sent, harvest