Grinding Teeth, A Prayer

Sometimes I wonder
If Jesus ground his teeth

Did you wake up in the middle of the night
Feeling like you were about to fall?
From some inexplicable nightmare?

When you got through a harrowing encounter
with the officially officials—you know the ones that had been building
Did you come home with a headache?

Did you practice breathing techniques, and peaceable responses, and politeness and smiles
like most of the women, disabled people and marginalized around you…
All of us knowing—this is how we make it

Did you preach the Good News as a survival technique
Not as a toxic positivity to push on people

But the Bare Bones to give those hungry for scraps of answers of

“Why am I Here? And “Does this even Matter?” And “How Do I face tomorrow?”

And did you sit and look at the stars—Christ—and evaluate your day, and try to comfort yourself:
With the little things that went right; and the good things you saw, and the big picture you were working towards.

Did you ache with the work of it all Jesus? And roll your jaw, and take a deep breath to relax your shoulders, before you faced another fully human day?

Thank you for being human with us Jesus.

Amen.

Feel free to use/adapt/share with credit to Pastor Katy Stenta

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Potent Promises: Flood and Promise

God’s Potent Promises for Peace

Flood and Promise
Genesis 6:5-22, 8:6-12, 9:8-17 Flood, Promise Rainbow
Matt 8:24-27 Jesus Calms Storm
Psalm 23 Lord is My Shepherd

If you want a document version of this entire series for easy viewing and formatting just email me at Katyandtheword at gmail and title it Narrative Lectionary and I will be happy to send it to you.

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Call to worship: 
Our God is the God of storms and rainbows.

The God of doves and the God of promises

Our God is the God of mighty waves, and calm peaceful seas.

How mighty is our God

How trustworthy is our God

Come let us worship God.

Call to Worship 

God we long for your care

Help us when we need your care

Lead us to the still waters

God renew your covenant with us

God we give thanks to the God of peace

Come let us praise God’s Holy Name

Invitation to Confession: God’s compassion is wider than the sea. Come Let us confess ourselves to God. 

Confession: God, I confess that I do not understand that potency of your promise. What does it mean that you made a covenant with Noah and all future generations? What does it mean that you permanently hung your bow, your weapon, in the sky? I confess that my wonder at the rainbow is still just a beginning of the understanding of your promises and covenants. Help me to dig deep into your promises I pray. (Silent Confession) Amen.

Just as the storm will be calmed, as certain as God hangs God’s rainbow in the sky, we can be certain God loves us, God knows us and God forgives us, Let us proclaim the good news to one another In Jesus Christ we are forgiven. Amen

Call of the Day/Dedication: God may we continue to seek your promises, and to know that your joy is in creation and love, and you are with us. Remind us to be a people of your promise as we go, we pray in your most Holy name. Amen. 

Children: Talk about the rainbow as God Disarming Godself. God promises never to weaponize anger against us. Book Suggestion “Where the Wild Things Are” “The Napping House” “The Napping House”

Hymns: God of the Sparrow, My Shepherd Will Supply My Need, Wherever I May Wander, I’ve God Peace Like River,

If you want a document version of this entire series for easy viewing and formatting just email me at Katyandtheword at gmail and title it Narrative Lectionary and I will be happy to send it to you.

If you would like to support my work, please give to my gofundme for my D. Min in Creative Writing or in an exciting new prospect become a Patron for only $3 a month!

Not Oppressed, A Prayer

God
How stupid are humans
That we have to claim
Christians are oppressed
To get attention

Is it bc we know
Your the God of the oppressed?

Oh Jesus
Who weeps
Who wants to protect
The broken under your wings

Tell the Pharaohs,
Street Corner Prayers,
Herods & Warmongers

To shut up
(a word we gloss
Differently in the Bible)

And if they don’t listen
Shut them up
Anyway

Do your thing God
For the oppressed,
Enslaved, orphaned,
Widowed
Care for the children.

Do your Prince of Peace thing
Because surely
That is the way
To help the oppressed

And we Christians,
We will muddle along
Definitely not oppressed
And hopefully
Helping the oppressed
Too

Lead the way Prince of Peace.
Lead the way.
Amen!

Feel free to share/adapt/use with credit to Pastor Katy Stenta

Bad News, A Prayer

AAAAAAHHHHHHHHH

18-20yr Old Gunman, White
Kills 6 Onlookers, And injures 24 more
Independence Day Parade; Highland Park, Chicago suburb, IL

This is not News to You God.

10 Year old Pregnant by Rape,
Just over 6 weeks,
Denied Abortion

This is not News to You God

LGBTQIA reporters being denied access,
to writing articles and opinions, Don’t Say Gay Laws in Effect
Being told their voices are Not Needed

This is not News to You God

God, I fully admit I’m following you,
Not cause its glamorous–
have you seen what people are doing in your name?

I know, I know,

This is not News to You God

But I have nowhere else to go.
Your way is not easy, but it is Just and inclusive;
Because I know you know God, we don’t know what we are doing

This is not News to You God.

So I am not going to turn off the News (much)
But I am going to follow you,
Your promises are more solid than anything human
And…I have nowhere else to go;

This is Not News to You God.

So I’ll Scream and Sigh to You God,

And remind myself, that You Know, and You Know us,

This is Not News to You God.

And take comfort in that fact. As we strive to do better
to make things better.
Amen.

Feel free to adapt/share/use with credit to Pastor Katy Stenta

With thanks to Rev. Tawnya Denise Anderson about her thought provoking fb post about how the disciples stuck with Jesus because they had nowhere else to go, i.e. it wasn’t always exciting to follow Jesus, but it was the best option they had, and sometimes that’s what following God means

4th of July

God,
Here we are again,
Celebrating “Freedom” or whatever

But Black Lives still don’t matter
LGBTQIA rights are worse
Women subjugated
Children hunger and forgotten
Hate crimes up and rising

And I just Can’t,
Free to do what?
What are we celebrating?
I hate how Americans have turned
Freedom into an equivalency for Selfishness

And we all know that this has been a problem
For a while.
But I had some hope in the days of Black Lives Matter
and when Covid efforts were new
That we might actually learn some things.

But we are still a country
That throws more money at war and police
Then schools and social efforts and equality.

Some countries have Kings
We have Capitalism, Liberty, Christianity and White Supremacy
We all are living with the results of this.

So here’s my prayer:
for human dignity,
the right to belong
the right to eat good food, shelter and be clothed
the right to water, education and clean air
the freedom to be oneself.
The right to pray and to refrain from praying
I hope everyone gets a moment to just be today.

And maybe tomorrow, we will work for each other’s freedom’s
Instead of our own.

Please Jesus, show us the way.
Amen.

Feel free to use/share/Adapt with credit to Pastor Katy Stenta

Promises & Prayers

Someday

I hope

We will raise prayers

No longer wet

With the sacrificial blood

Of children killed by guns

And violence

And hunger

And neglect

And hate.

Some day

We will care

More for health

Than test scores

More for housing

Than lawns

More for queer families

Than breaking hearts

More for disabled people

Than helping porn and “self-advocacy”

More for people of color

Than trumped up blame, hushed up histories, and subjugation.

Some day God,

The kin(g)dom

Will sneak up

On us

Like a cool breeze

On a hot day.

Like dew

On the lawn

Like a rainbow

Coming into focus

And we will all be Beloved neighbors there!

I’m standing in you

And your promise Jesus.

Because at the end

Of the day

Isn’t that what prayer is?

So I’m standing here

Breathing another one

Another prayer

For your collection

Put it on your heart please.

Amen.

Feel Free to use/adapt/share with credit to Pastor Katy Stenta

Idolatry

God

Jesus

Holy Spirit

How can I pray to the Holy Trinity

In a work of idols?

How can explore the mystery faith

When we humans use labels as weapons?

Instead of names of exploratory wonder..

I don’t know creator,

When humans seem bent on being destructors

And death cults

And weapon makers

How to bear your image, how to preach your image,

how God can I better be your image in the universe??

::am I doing it wrong?:: my very soul whispers.

How can we free ourselves from our idols?

How can we become seed planters and tenders of things that grow?

God I long for healthy growing things..

(And you know I have a black thumb so if it need to be metaphorical so be it)

Our hearts are already broken—return us to life and live I pray.

Return us to community we pray.

Amen

Feel free to use/adapt/share with credit to Pastor Katy Stenta

Messy Hope, a Prayer

God

I wonder if everything

In heaven will be well loved

Like a comfortable sweater

And a couch that hugs your butt just the wife way.

Holy Spirit you know how I am longing for comfort.

For the things of childhood that were so soothing:

Playing in the grass, coloring so hard you could smell the crayons, saying hi ready to make friends with the world.

Sometimes when people long for the good old days. I think they are wishing for their inner child

—even if they don’t remember who that was.

Ans yet Jesus, you know

And say that a child shall lead us.

God you know that nothing is gently used in my house—my kids are busting with energy and ready to fully embrace everything life has to offer.

Couches are to jump on.

Juice boxes spilling out with sweet goodness.

Mud and dirt brimming with life.

God, in this time of turmoil, help me to taste heaven.

Because surely this chaos is what Pentecost was like!

Come Holy Spirit! Fill us with some messy hope today we pray.

Amen.

Feel free to use/adapt/share with credit to Pastor Katy Stent

Prayer for Peace

Life Giving God
Erase all the things
That Rob us of life
Open the ears
Of those who can’t hear
Break apart the bad policies
And politics


Breath Giving God
You know how to
Get us to become a culture
Of seed planting
Instead of death dealers

Help us to slough off
All the skins
That we think
“Protect” is
Lay us bare before you
So that can finally heal
And find peace

Please
God of Respite
Melt our hearts
And resurrect us
Into tranquility
We pray
Amen

Feel free to adapt/share/use with credit to Pastor Katy Stenta

God of Time

God
Our timeline
Is totally broken
As lies crackle
And cowardice is unearthed

Jesus is this
How Jerusalem was?
When Powers & Principalities
Were vying for power?

God how do you
Make Kairos out of Chronos
How do you
Work with hopelessness?

God who keeps track
As the timeline breaks us
Break into our time
Our hearts
Our being

So that we
Are no longer weighed down
By this news cycle

Whisper it
Like the Secret it is
Because we are too weary
And Bleary
To recognize it now.

Thank you Timeless God
Amen

Feel free to use/adapt/share with credit to Pastor Katy Stenta

Shannon A Thompson

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