Living Word, who speaks creation into existence We are tired of hearing condemnation from every angle. Gently awaken us to listen for the one Voice that gives life. Fill us with what we need to carry into the course of this day. Help us to listen to one another more than we speak. Rather than increasing any conflict, make the words you speak through us create understanding. Multiply opportunities to experience emerging justice through the power of your mercy. Amen. Psalm 29:4
Living God, who raises all to new life, Slow us in these moments, turn us around, for we don’t recognize you. You aren’t found where we expect you. You don’t appear as we desire. Clear away our expectations, open us to ways we don’t understand. Send torrents of living water through the desert valleys of today. Strengthen us to live amongst selfish and deadened politics. Bring us to meet new formed community in gardens of grace where resurrection prevails and death is no more. Thanks be to Christ.
Ancient of Days, who accompanies us on our inward journey, We draw near to you in this silence, waiting for your love to carve away our excess, so that we may find what is truly valuable. Your relentless grace guides us into our interior shadows, softening away our hardness with your compassionate Presence. Make this Ash Wednesday be the doorway to a season in which our inconsistencies are revealed. Unbind us from any fear, envy, pride, sloth or perfectionism. Release us into your creative light so we can become more fully yours. Remind us that this path is not a solitary one but for the whole community. Amen.
Source of all Hope, available to us in every realm on earth and in heaven, Your Presence makes real your encompassing love. Even when we are swept away into lives that are not of our own choosing, we do not despair. You give us clarity, comfort and conviction, placing a right spirit within us. Answer in us questions for others. Make our lives a portrait of your ways. Amen.
Divine Hope, who is found both beyond and within us, As we begin this season of preparation, we admit how often we fear silence, fight stillness and resist the unknown. Move us beyond the exterior material in our lives toward the inner rooms of our hearts. As we explore in these depths, adjust our seeing toward each new reality that arises out of shadow and darkness. Through our sense of relief, stir us to passion for others, leading us beyond mere survival to fullness of joy. Amen.
Help us return to our old words, words that we have used up and thrown out,
words that once gave us life , that now, we might live in them anew.
Breathe the word, in long slow gulps, until it fills our being, Until we become that word for the sake of the world, living words for others. Let us fill this world with…mercy, peace, kindness, compassion, justice, gentleness, strength, love, presence, goodness and….. Thanks be to You, Amen.
“Whoever drinks the water I shall give, it will become in you a spring welling up to endless life.” John 4:14
Let us all seek to find some piece of glory amidst tangled brambles, today. Stop and listen for your breath in that place. Make a way for some kind of peace to be revealed. Even the most delicate veins yield tremendous strength. Even today, your life has a purpose. Amen.
2 Cor 12:9 “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
Stop and notice, but don’t wait.
Let some kind of bloom shape us, soften or delight us. Common, ordinary things change us when we let them. Opportunities flash by–
without the least regard.
Make us ready for the fullness steeped in every moment, in each precious bloom. Amen.
She-Mystery, who gives herself away completely,
In this challenging season, we breathe, we pray, we serve others. Make us not forget, however, that an important part of our work is to accept the Love you offer. Help us not even try to make sense of it, only open our eyes to watch for it and open our hearts to receive it. We don’t want a feel good story on Easter, we want you to turn our hearts from stone into bread that brings life for the world. Amen.
1 Kings 17: 12 But she said, “As the Lord your God lives, I have nothing baked, only a handful of meal in a jar, and a little oil in a jug; I am now gathering a couple of sticks, so that I may go home and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it, and die.”
Author of Beauty, who colors beyond the lines with blooms out of season,
Changes happen in rhythmic response to rotations of the earth. New light comes in through open spaces and dark nights blanket us in. Teach us to accept and adapt to both. Expose these life-giving patterns and designs in our relationship with you until the colors of your mercy extend grace-filled clarity and hope. Then together, we can breathe in thanksgiving. Amen.
“Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. Luke 12:27