Saturday, 16 January 2021

Is it right to be angry?


 Jonah 3:1–4:11 

1. Is this not what I said? 

Jonah, obedient,
proclaims judgement, sentence: 
but then – God's mind changed 


2. Who knows? God may relent? 

Nineveh condemned,
mourning; sackcloth, ash, fast – 
the people believed 


3. ... angry enough to die 

God plants him a tree:
to care for all these people
or a withered plant? 

Saturday, 9 January 2021

Greater things

 John 1:43–51 




may heaven open
angels swirling 'round the Son
of Humanity 

Saturday, 2 January 2021

listen to the voices

 

Matthew 2:13–23 

a voice in a dream
whispers, urges – go! 
take mother and flee,
take child and run for his life
to Egypt – 
get up
Joseph
go! 

a voice cries out
wailing, loud lamentation,
Bethlehem will not be consoled
weeping for her children,
will not be consoled,
for they are 
no more 

a voice. a dream. once
more – again – get up! 
I have called you,
called him out of Egypt
come home, Israel is waiting
but make a new home
to call him Nazarean
go there, go now
come to the place
I call you
home

Saturday, 26 December 2020

the promised garden


prayers for ourselves and the world 
Jeremiah 31:7–14 

may our lives be that watered garden
God promised on the voice of Jeremiah,
flourishing, flowering, producing fruit and life and beauty

may we receive God's offer of comfort,
exchange gladness for sorrow, mourning for joy,
and live with hope and dreams for a new day 

may we show God our gratitude
for the bounty set forth before us,
with our care for this good earth we've been given

may we stand with confidence
and trust in God, who leads us out 
of our weeping with consolation

may our song of praise delight our God,
sung in our loving kindness, our justice,
our care the the little ones in our midst

may our lives be that watered garden
God promised on the voice of Jeremiah,
flourishing, flowering, producing fruit, life, and beauty

may it be so. amen.  

Friday, 25 December 2020

Present for every season


Ecclesiastes 3:1–13 

as one year ends and a new one begins,
we mark the turning of time and season with thanks and remembering 

we give thanks for the lives born this year,
and pray for your presence with parents and carers of children 

we remember the people who died this year,
and pray for your presence with the sick and dying 

we give thanks for all kinds of seeds planted this year,
for your presence with those who plant and nurture, sow and reap 

we remember all that came to an end this year,
in good time or too soon; and we pray for healing and peace 

we give thanks for things built – homes, businesses, communities, relationships,
and we pray for your presence with those who build 

we remember the things that were dismantled this year,
and we pray for your presence with all who feel bereft

we give thanks for the good times this year, 
and for those with whom we laughed, rejoiced, delighted 

we remember the times we wept this year,
and those who comforted us, and let us comfort them 

we give thanks for the songs, the dances, the poems, of this year,
and for the artists who enrich our community, showing us who we are 

we remember the laments of this year, 
and we pray for your presence with all who mourn 

we give thanks for our bodies, with which we embrace life and each other,
and pray for wholeness and strength for each other and ourselves 

we remember the times we've had to hold back this year,
and we pray with hope for our coming together again 

we give thanks for curiosity and wonder, for all we've learned this year,
and pray for your presence with teachers in every guise 

we remember the things we've had to let go this year,
and pray for courage to endure cocoons so as to grow new wings and fly 

we give thanks for the menders, repairers, restorers,
and pray for your presence with wounds and stitches still healing 

we remember the rips, tears, breaks of this year,
and we pray for forgiveness all round 

we give thanks for silence that has helped us to hear,
we pray for no more of the silence that exacerbates injustice 

we give thanks for the stories, wisdom, experience we hold,
and we pray for discernment in using our voice

we give thanks for love, to give and receive,
and we pray for friends for the lonely 

we remember the times we've hated this year,
righteous rejection of injustice and unhelpful blaming and shaming 

we give thanks for your peace that we do not
fully understand, so must keep learning by living it 

we remember the battles we have fought this year,
and pray for your presence as we continue the struggles
of climate change, for Black Lives – which matter –
with responses to the Covid, and with recovery 
from fire and flood, storms and drought* 

in every season, with every turning,
you are with us, you are listening; 
Thank you for your presence 
through this year that has ended,
thank you for your presence
into the year just beginning. Amen. 


* please adapt these final concerns to specifics of time and place when you pray this prayer 

Saturday, 19 December 2020

Praying with Simeon

 

Luke 2:22–40 

As Simeon waited to see the child, 
the promise, the hope, the light;

so we remember those who wait
for promise, for hope, for light,
through long years and many trials. 

We remember: God, remember with us. 

As Simeon trusted God and listened, 
faithful, attentive, patient, 

so we remember those who listen for you
with faithfulness, attention, patience, trust,
through long years and many trials. 

We remember: God, remember with us. 

As Simeon recognised the Holy Child,
sang praise and thanks and peace,

so we remember those who praise you
with gratitude and peace, in their words and living,
through long years and many trials. 

We remember: God, remember with us. 

As Simeon saw in the Holy Child
challenges and a cost to pay, 

so we remember those who embrace
the challenge and cost of Jesus' way
through long years and many trials. 

We remember: God, remember with us. 

And God, we, like Simeon,
wait, listen, hope, praise,
and try to understand; 
remember us, also: God, remember us. 
Amen. 

Friday, 18 December 2020

Ancient Song of Release


Isaiah 52:7–10 

When we tell the story 
of a child born to change the world,
we sing in heart and voice,
in body, soul, and mind; 
we sing with all creation 
as if at last released 
from all that held us captive – 

How beautiful are the feet!
Even the feet, so wonderful
in all the earth, the feet
of the messenger who brings
us this song of release to sing! 
How beautiful the hands
of these angels who open again
our tired eyes to see again 
that Holy One is here! 
How beautiful the song, even
on the voice of ruins, the stones
and rubble of our broken lives
sing too of liberation, sing
out with joy! What joy! 
Look, earth! Listen, stars! 
Shout, dance, all that lives – 
for the life restored by Holy One
is beautiful indeed! 

We tell the story and we sing
the ancient song of liberation, 
release from captivity,
release into life! 
Sing the song of joy, today, 
sing every day of joy,
fro life is born, Christ is born
again, Holy One's promises 
come true – rejoice!