and a multi year timeframe to just have the apocalyptic event itself, was not quite on my schedule Lord.
I thought catastrophes were sudden, and fast.
Where is my cut scene?
I hear we hit the economic depressive climax (lowmax?) in April 2020?
Just goes to show that money is a human made thing, don’t it God?
Lord, as we face this ongoing apocalyptic event,
As we minister in these times.
Give us what it is we need.
(Whatever that might be, because, I’m not sure what that is right now)
Because this story isn’t even in the the rearview mirror yet, and we are not yet ready to know how to tell it yet.
A colleague said it feels like we are Ron Weasley, working with a broken Wand,
doing the best we can–
No magic wand, no program, no methodology to “fix things” just presence and patience and prayer.
and maybe sitting down and reading Revelation again, or John, or Acts,
or Frederick Buechner, or Elie Wiesel or Martin Luther King Jr or J. R. R. Tolkien or Ursula K. Le Guin or Toni Morrison or Langston Hughes or Madeline L’engle or Octavia Butler or N. K. Jemison or….or….
Because God knows,
We’ve had to Chaplain Apocalypses before,
and we will have to do it again.
Be with us as we do, we pray.
Feel free to share/adapt/use with credit to Pastor Katy Stenta
Today I think that the most prescient thing God ever did was to hang their rainbow in the sky.
God knew what God was doing when they hung up the bow after the storms
Knowing that we needed the reminder that every storm runs out of rain–as Maya Angelou put it.
Knowing that it would be claimed and expanded by all of God’s queer children, proclaiming that love is love is love is love and that God created a multiplicities of genders and sexualities–just like God created a rainbow with thousands upon thousands of hues and in-betweens.
We need rainbows, because God knew
Before sociological studies and microscopic and macroscopic science; before we did our Genesis job of naming all of the people, places and things of the world, you knew that very naming would make us create divisions.
Before we made elaborate charts to discover and explicate the mystery of the Trinity, God, you knew
You knew how much we need rainbows
You knew racism would be a stumbling block of sin,
that normalcy is a illusion of bigotry
that being neurotypical or not is a spectrum….which is another word for rainbow
and that gray can beautiful color, and sometimes we sit in the gray–
God I always imagine that the Trinity is gray, in between and a part of the rainbow world you created.
And God, you knew that you, the Almighty and Many Breasted God needed to symbolically and in all practicalities disarm Godself.
Promising never to send natural disasters as punishment.
And putting the most powerful weapon of the time, the equivalent of a gun, up. Forever.
Because if God can disarm Godself, then it is clear what we should do.
In the midst of horrific gun violence in the US, the state imbued violence in the United States and Colombia, and in the midst of border wars in Armenia-Azerbaijan, climate asylum and violence in Syria, and the oppression and apartheid conditions in Gaza.
God you know we need to figure out how to live in concert and beauty in rainbows–and how to first and foremost disarm ourselves as you did thousands of years ago.
Thousands of years ago.
God, thank you for your prescience.
And for all the rainbows
And for giving us the time.
And the promises within the rainbow, that it won’t always be like this.
Help us embody your rainbow.
Help us to honor your rainbow.
Fill us with rainbows I pray.
Feel free to Share/Adapt/Use this prayer with Credit to Pastor Katy Stenta
God, I am praying the prayer of an impatient people.
I truly feel that I am, and we are, the direct descendants of the Hebrews who grumbled and complained from the moment they were freed from Egypt. Impatient for the new beginning to start. I feel their pain.
I pray the prayer of chaotic leadership, lifting my prayer beside Moses and Aaron and Miriam and Tzipporah, who had to balance what the people want with what is best with the community, and the two often do not agree, and are almost always hard to discern.
God I’m praying the prayer of the weary, of Hagar alone and frustrated in the desert, of Abram and Sarai who had to move from place to place to place before finding a home and establishing a household. Is the end in sight? Can I recognize it when it is?
I’m feeling very anxious God. As the news of De-mask-us starts to filter out, and yet, and yet, I hold so many immune compromised people in prayer for cancer and surgery and long term illness. I’m praying the prayer of confusion as I try to sort out what is safe for my children and how to keep them masked, even as adults look forward to seeing one another face to face.
Lord, I’m praying the prayer of the privileged in a nation where vaccines a plentiful, and sometimes even wasted in the face of India’s medical catastrophe that on so great cannot help but spill over to her sister nations–a sharp reminder that it is already affecting us, and I hold onto my prayers for well resourced nations like Japan who, yet still, do not have access to the vaccines.
Lord, I pray the prayer of the brokenhearted, I shed tears with Jesus for Jerusalem and all of the violence that has been purposefully perpetuated against schools, hospitals and publishing houses in Palestine. I pray for the fight over land and water and occupancy that is being done in your name. I sorrow that oppression continues.
God I’m praying the prayer of ignorance, as one who has only been able to superficially take in what is happening in Colombia. Weary and heavy burdened I understand that police violence reigns terror in many places, including my own, and I do not even know what to do next to help to dismantles the powers and principalities as they exist now.
God I pray the prayer of a parent who has had a mere hours of true relaxation over the past year. Is that how it’s been for you God, have you been superbusy watching over us and drying our tears and helping us to clean up the messes?
God I’m praying a multitude of prayers today, as I face the window, a portal into a new era, uncertain as to what will come next, and still weary from what has happened. I am so ready to close the door of the pandemic, and yet am aware that this is not how things work.
So instead, I life this prayer of snips and bits to you.
Be with me in ::gestures broadly at everything:: I pray. Amen.
Feel free to use/share/adapt with credit to Pastor Katy Stenta
Call to Worship Spirit of the living God, visit us on this day of Pentecost. Come, Holy Spirit. With rushing wind that sweeps away all barriers, Come, Holy Spirit. With love that overlaps the boundaries of race and nation, Come, Holy Spirit. With power from above to make our weakness strong, Come, Holy Spirit.
Call to Worship What are your dreams people of God? To be filled with laughter, To cry with joy, not sorrow. What are your hopes, people of God? To be free of the chains that bind us Rejoice, God makes our hopes and dreams come true. Let us rejoice in God!
Prayer of Confession: Almighty God, you poured your Spirit upon gathered disciples creating tongues, open ears, and a new community of faith. We confess that we hold back the force of your Spirit among us. We do not listen to your word of grace, speak the good news of your love, or live as a people made one in Christ. Have mercy on us, O God. Transform our timid lives by the power of your Spirit, and fill us with a flaming desire to be your faithful people, doing your will for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord. (Silent Confession) Amen
From the Book of Common Worship (1993), of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
Prayer of Confession: God we confess we have been too tired to prophesy or have visions or dream dreams. Instead we are in survival mode. Please breathe on us some of you energy and inspiration as we go into the world. Help us to see the future through your Holy Spirit we pray
Assurance of Pardon: Friends the Good News of the Gospel: In Jesus Christ, we are forgiven. Amen.
Prayer of Dedication: God, we pray that we might rededicate our lives to you. Send your Holy Spirit among us to inspire and sustain us. Holy Spirit Come, we pray. Amen.
Prayer of Dedication: God send your Holy Spirit upon us to love us and sustain us. Refresh us in the Holy Spirit we pray in Your Son’s most Holy Name Jesus Christ. Amen.