Narrative Lectionary: Advent Year 4

If you find these resources useful please consider contributing to my Doctorate in Ministry in Creative Writing!

(Under Construction, only the kit is written)

The Fullness of God/Fulfilled By God

Advent Devotional Kit

Week 1: Full of Prophesy/Life Dec 5 Ezekiel Valley of Dry Bones

Ezekiel 37:1-15

John 11:25-26

Week 2: Full of Purpose

Isaiah 55:1-13

John 4:13-14

Week 3: Full of God’s Word

John 1:1-18

Psalm 130:5-8

Week 4: Full of Good News

Luke 2:1-14 [15-20]

Psalm 96:7-10

December 25 Shepherds Visit

Luke 2:8-20

Psalm 123: 1-2 or

Dec 26 A Voice in the Wilderness

John 1:19-34

Psalm 32:1-2

Trickle Down Grace: A Prayer

God, I’ve been thinking fiercely today,

about how you keep trying to convince us that there is no such thing

as trickle down grace.

You formed Adam and Eve out of your own breath,

Sharing the Holy Spirit of inspiration with us.

As Abram and Sarai wondered as immigrants

As God showed us, in no uncertain terms,

that the sacrifice of children, will never ever

be a demand of our God.

And gave us Jacob, the literal heel to show,

that no blessing needs to be tricked from God,

As the Hebrews in the desert were shown that God’s Providence

would be enough, and there was no need for greed.

God, you never were one to give your peoples scraps of grace.

God, I think we humans worry, about being stuck with only the scraps.

We worry that there isn’t enough grace to go around.

But when I have a need, the prayers flow in like water.

When I cry out, and my tears overwhelm me, I feel your voice crying with mine, indinguishable.

Because you have never been a trickle down God! You never just give us dribs and drabs!

You are an abundant, grace overflowing, there is always room for one more at the table God.

This means your grace is messy! It spills in uncontrollable fantastic ways! splashing upon unsuspecting bystanders, leaving a track that one can clearly see after that face.

Mighty God, how I love you messy and uncontrollable grace.

Thank you, for being the kind of God I want to worship. Thank you for splashing your grace everywhere. Help me to be a part of the splashing I pray.

Amen.

Feel Free to Adapt/Share/Use with credit to Pastor Katy Stenta

More Narrative Lectionary Year 4

Holy Words: No and Yes

God help me,

to discern when to say no

So that I can also say yes.

Help me do the junk,

the stuff that has to get done anyway.

But also…..

Help me to know when to draw

the boundaries that need to be drawn.

To be healthy

To hold firm

to say

No.

Simply

as a complete sentence.

So that when I want to

Say Yes, to something that I am called to

To something that is fulfilling and right

that I can say Yes.

No to overdoing

Yes to stretching

No to bullies

Yes to God.

No to Bigotry

Yes to Welcome

No to busywork

Yes to upholding, enouraging and supporting

No to perfection

Yes to good enough

No to doing everything

Yes to help

God, I give thanks, for all the Holy Nos, and all the Holy Yeses

In my Life.

Amen.

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

Mundane Prayer to Survive the Day to Day

Pandemic Prayers & Resources

If you find these resources useful please consider contributing to my Doctorate in Ministry in Creative Writing! I have already Successfully funded year 1, and am now working on Year 2!

Oct 3 God’s Name is Revealed

Living into this God Given World: Helpers

Exodus 2:23-25; 3:1-15, 4:10-17

John 8:58

Psalm 46

Trickle Down Grace: A Prayer

Call to Worship (based on Psalm 46)

God says, come into the house of the Lord

We gather together, to be with God

We come to be still, and know God

Come let us worship God, exalted among nations.

Prayer of Confession: God, we confess that sometimes we are like Moses. We feel unworthy to be called upon. We are ware that we lack. We feel that the burden is too heavy. Forgive us, and call us again to be the helpers we pray. Amen.

Assurance of Pardon: God is with us, forgiving us. Know the truth: In Jesus Christ we are forgiven.

Prayer of the Day/Dedication: Let us dedicate ourselves to God, who sends his servants to free the earth. The one who promises to make wars cease. Come let love and serve the Lord. Amen.

Children: Discuss with children Mr. Roger’s famous “consider the helpers” when things are scary or bad conversation. (Keeping in mind that us grown ups are the ones who are supposed to be these helpers setting this example)

Hymns: God of Compassion in Mercy Befriend Us, God of the Ages Whose Almight Hand, Wherever I May Wander, Live Into Hope, When Israel Was in Egypt’s Land, Be Thou My Vision, Called as Partners in Christ’s Service

More Narrative Lectionary Year 4

If you find these resources useful please consider contributing to my Doctorate in Ministry in Creative Writing! I have already Successfully funded year 1, and am now working on Year 2!

Never Forget, a Prayer of Mourning

I remember staying up all night,

And waking up to the phone in my dorm

(landline, yes)

It was the 2nd week of Freshman Year.

And God, all I can remember

Is that everyone was so angry.

Because no one seemed to know

How to be sad.

Never Forget–

How to be angry I wondered?

As we marched off to war?

As I viewed the Holocaust museum in embattled Israel?*

As we became more embittered against Brown people.

And now,

After Iraq, and Afghanistan,

and a million Covid deaths later,

God, I think that maybe,

we are way more apt to get angry–

because we as a nation are not good at getting sad.

How often do I see our leaders cry?

How often do we encourage mourning?

So Today I’m glad that you are the God who weeps with those are weeping.

Today I’m glad that you affirmed

that

Jesus wept.

A tear for every life.

God does not need to get even for justice to be done.

And today, I am so thankful, for a God that weeps.

As I remember the first day,

that I realize that justice is so separate from anger–

and mourning is too.

So today, God, I think I’m going to concentrate on mourning,

and nothing else.

Please sit with me, again,

while I cry

whatever more tears

need to be cried.

Amen.

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

If you enjoy my work, please consider giving to my Doctorate in Ministry in Creative Writing 

Pandemic Prayers & Resources

*The Nationally Funded motto of all the museums in Israel is also Never Forget, which I discovered upon a pilgrimage there in 2010.

Resource on modern lament

My colleague April Fiet is putting together a resource in Lament and included one of my prayers in her resource on how to lament—which makes sense a lot of my pandemic prayers are laments or psalms. Or as I like to put it “I like to write angsty prayers” which is luckily a very Biblical thing to do. Angst is Biblical.

April Fiet is really thoughtful and this is a really good resource about lament and how to do it. A lot of the Bible is about the importance of grieving and I’m excited to see more as she works on the topic.

Henri J. M. Nouwen said “I’m beginning to see that a lot of praying is grieving”

If you feel overwhelmed by everything I invite you to check her resource out.

https://aprilfiet.com/my-thoughts/how-to-grieve-in-an-unfeeling-world-resources-for-creating-space-for-lamenthttps://aprilfiet.com/my-thoughts/how-to-grieve-in-an-unfeeling-world-resources-for-creating-space-for-lament

Jonah, A Prayer

When people complain

About how hard

it is to help others.

The inconvenience to put cloth across

their face–

or that “they can’t do that to their children”

when we ask them to teach them to mask.

And I shudder when they refuse to put a highly tested medication

into their bloodstream, to bolster our bubble of protection.

I think about what happened to Jonah

When he was sent to help Ninevah.

God followed the boat with a storm

and the ocean, with a big fish.

I wonder how it feels to be

in the belly of the fish,

praying to be thrown up,

so that you can go out,

covered in vomit,

and realize,

that you are still called to help people.

Welp, here we are God,

Covered in Vomit,

help us to take those steps–

in flood and fire, in hurricane and disease,

in senseless war, horrific evictions and systematic racism

even when things are completely overwhelming help us

to pick ourselves up, and remember that even cover in goo

we are still called, to be the helpers

and maybe take a nap under a tree now and then

when we need one,

so that we can look back,

and see the work that we have been doing,

counts.

It all counts, help us to see how it all counts

I pray.

Amen.

Hungry, A Prayer

Jesus,

Sometimes I shuffle around the house

hungry for company.

So I turn on the TV

or talk to myself.

Some days, I’m stumbling in the depths of despair

so I take my 2,000 IUs of Vitamin D (I don’t even know what that means)

and turn on all the lights, and sit in the windows

to soak up the pieces of joy we like to call sunshine

And sometimes,

I can’t breathe,

And the world collapses in,

in such a way that my inhaler can’t help

because the enormity of a world coming to the end

is just too much to bear.

And so, when you promised–

When you promise that you will be my bread

and I will never thirst

These are the kinds of hungers

These are the kinds of thirst you are talking about

The deep pangs and aches of being human.

The empty spots.

That there are places, that need to be filled.

And healed.

“This is my body, broken for you”

And that sometimes we skip over those places.

Ignoring them until they scream into every corner of our being.

Ignoring them, until they demand to be healed, hungry to be healthy again.

Because, in the end, you know.

We humans are hungry.

To be noticed, to be fed, to be warm, to be healed, to be loved.

Sometimes I’m hungry God.

Sometimes, I’m so hungry that it hurts.

“This is my body, broken for you”

Feed us.

And help us also, to feed one another.

Isn’t that why you sat with us, your disciples at the table?

“This is my body, broken for you”

Teach us to feed, and be fed.

Restore us to the ministry of communion I pray.

Amen.

Feel Free to Use/Share/Adapt with Credit to Pastor Katy Stenta