Sunday, 18 October 2020

To care deeply


1 Thessalonians 2:1–8 

One: May we care so deeply 
All: that we will share our very selves 

We pray for those who suffer 
all manner of mistreatment, 
especially the mistreatment 
of systemic prejudice that keeps 
refugees at bay, disenfranchises
Indigenous peoples, women, children,
dehumanises those of different colours,
faiths, genders, sexualities, abilities. 

One: May we care so deeply 
All: that we will share our very selves 

We pray for the oppressed,
the poor, homeless, unemployed,
kept out of job and education
opportunities by systems stacked
in favour of the already favoured. 

One: May we care so deeply 
All: that we will share our very selves 

We pray for those who care,
who tend to the sick and dying,
in hospitals, aged care residences,
homes and hospices; for nurses
and doctors, administrators, social
workers, psychiatrists, psychologists,
counsellors, healers in many
traditions and practices. 

One: May we care so deeply 
All: that we will share our very selves 

We pray for those who lead 
our country, territory/state/county, church
in its various councils, lead our clubs 
and choirs and committees:
for their wisdom, patience, 
and courage.

One: May we care so deeply 
All: that we will share our very selves 

We pray for ourselves 
and those closest to us, in the silent
sighs of our hearts ...

One: May we care so deeply 
All: that we will share our very selves 

Sunday, 11 October 2020

for what we may be remembered

1 Thessalonians 1:1–10 

Dear Holy One,
as Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy wrote
with thanksgiving and joy
to the church in Thessalonica 
so long ago, 
we write in hope for ourselves: 

May we be a people 
mentioned in the prayers of others,
remembered before you
as faithful, loving, steadfast
in hope in Jesus the Christ; 
may we be siblings known
to our kin in Christ as 
beloved of Holy One, showing
in our way of being that we have chosen
to follow You, through what kind
of people we prove to be. 

May we be imitators of Christ
and the faithful saints gone before; 
courageous under attack and temptation,
inspired by the Holy Spirit,
and example to other members
of your Body – may our 
commitment to You be known 
by all, our welcome of all,
our resistance to this world's idols,
our love for Christ who rescues – 

Dear Jesus the Christ,
may we be a people
worthy of your name. 

Saturday, 3 October 2020

You are wondrous

Psalm 106:1–6, 19–23 

Praise Holy One! 
Give voice to your gratitude,
for the goodness of Holy One,
whose lovingkindness endures always! 

We haven't the words
to say it all – 
the wonder of Holy One,
the depth of our thanks! 

But we know joy, living 
out your justice, sharing 
the love we know in you. 

Remember me, we cry, 
remember, Holy One, 
your people – do not forget. 
We want to rejoice, 
to celebrate the fulfilment
of your Dream. 

We know we have wronged you,
us, our ancestors before us; 
we have participated in tyranny: 
forgive us
forgive us. 

We make idols, worship images,
success, wealth, status, ourselves,
when we are made to worship you: 
forgive us
forgive us. 

We forget you, Holy One,
who hears our cries, who rescues
promises, redeems our lives: 
forgive us
forgive us. 

You could choose to leave us, 
unfaithful, inconstant, as we are;
we plead with you again, again, 
forgive us
forgive us. 

Thank you for not turning from us,
we sigh with relief, for our lives.
You are wondrous, awesome, faithful: 
help us remember
help us remember. 

Sunday, 27 September 2020

forgive our unbelief

Matthew 21:33–46 

forgive us when we do not believe
you'll take the kin-dom away 

forgive us when we do not believe
we must follow your way 

forgive us when we do not believe
there are consequences when we reject you 

forgive us when we do not believe
your kin-dom is for all, not only a few 

forgive us when we do not believe
shooting the messenger is unjustified

forgive us when we do not believe
you mean it: love, and be kind 

Holy One will forgive: 
hear this, and believe it. 

Your forgiveness is fulfilled
when you trust, when you live
as if it changes everything: 
you are forgiven, be transformed.

Sunday, 20 September 2020

instead of arguing ...

Matthew 21:23–32

You call us to join you
in the House of the Holy,
relinquish our seats,
shut our mouths – 

and hear in the silence
the voice of Wisdom,
and finally fall to our knees. 

Sunday, 13 September 2020

Hear, and learn again

Exodus 16 

Do you not learn, 
people of Holy One? 
Morning by morning
the sun rises,
a new day begins,
and Holy One is here,
as They have been 
here each morning before. 
Yet will you still 
not trust in the enduring
presence of Holy One? 

Do you not learn,
people of Holy One? 
Day by day 
the Earth will provide;
season by season,
varieties of fruits 
and vegetables and grains;
foot to eat, shelter
to build, clothes to make – 
Yet will you still
not trust in the provider,
our Holy One? 

Do you not learn,
people of Holy One? 
Night after night,
teaching spoken, 
Wisdom awoken: 
Let it be, it is, 
and it is good; 
I will be, they are,
and Holy One is good. 
Yet will you still
 not trust in the promises,
the Promise of Holy One? 

Leader: We are slow to learn
All: Quicken our eyes to see you near 

L: We are reluctant to trust
A: Open our hearts to rest in you

L: We are hard of hearing
A: Sharpen our ears to heed your voice

L: We are your people
A: We forget you are our Holy One

L: Forgive us, please
A: Please, forgive us 

Assurance of Grace 
Morning by morning
Holy One reveals themselves,
ever near,
ready to welcome 

Day by day
Holy One's creation holds
always enough,
restoring life 

Night after night
Holy One's Wisdom endures
through darkness,
shining light. 

Hear now, learn again: 
Holy One forgives,

Sunday, 6 September 2020

Where we stand: stories of liberation

Exodus 14:19–31 

a confession 

Oh, Holy One,
we understand the need for stories
of vanquished enemies,
of victory for 'us' and defeat for 'them'; 
the need to name the feeling 
that we have escaped, 
to feel certain those who chase
can no longer pursue – 
we need to know that we are free. 

We understand the need for stories
that shout our anger,
release our fear,
inflict our desire for vengeance,
enact our hope for justice – 

but, Holy One, we also know 
that these stories paint you 
into a box of vengeance,
wrath, violence, 
and we are content to leave
you there so we may follow
our anger through to action
and feel justified, verified,
holier than we may actually be. 

So, Holy One, we are sorry
we keep you wrapped in anger,
and we are sorry for looking 
back angry ourselves without
seeking a path to peace. 

Holy One, as we tell the stories
passed on to us through time,
help us find you in the stories,
truly, fully, Holy One of liberation, 
of promise, of presence, with the oppressed; 
and help us to see 
clearly where we stand today,
which may be on the other side
of the parted, enclosing waters.