Consider

Lord,

I know when I am frustrated or stuck,

When I’m lamenting or angry, that you tell me to consider

Consider the lilies of the field, who neither toil nor spin

Count the stars, the grains of sand, if you can

Consider who made the mountains, all animals and food.

Who made the flood, the earthquake and the hurricane.

Consider who God is, and then remember,

No matter what you say or do.

God says, “Consider,

Consider, I have made a promise, a holy covenant that cannot be broken,

that I will always be your God, and you will always be my people.”

God proclaims that God is not constrained by place or time or ethnicity.

You promise to be present. You promise to be.

“I am, what I am”

The burning bush, the pillar of fire, the whirlwind, the rainbow.

You can be praised by all types of people in all types of circumstances: the enslaved woman Hagar on the run in the desert, the imprisoned and abused Joseph in Egypt, the triumphant and loving sister Miriam.

You are present in Black Lives Matter, in the beauty of being Trans, in all those marginal places we refuse to see: mental illness, drug addition, homelessness, sex trafficking, war zones.

In the midst of trial and tribulation, you are with us. Your rod and your staff comfort us. You remind us “I am, what I Am”

You are God, always and forever, empowering the powerless.

Let us be the kind of people who consider who your are. So we no longer define you by our own constraints, but instead are liberated to worship the multitude that is the trinitarian, relational God.

God, the great I am, let us worship you through the all considerations of who you are–and when we forget remind us to look at the stars we pray.

Amen.

More Narrative Lectionary Resources

Everything Counts/Counting the stars

Count the stars God tells Abram and Sarai, or, if you prefer, count the grains of sand.

Lord sometimes I feel like my efforts are no more than grains of sand in an ocean of hurting, lonely and sick people.

And time is dripping through the egg timer, one solitary granular at the time.

Count the sand, how can I count the sand, when I am but one grain?

How can I calculate the stars when I am but one entity of stardust in a vast, vast universe?

God who knows the count of every hair on my head. Creator of all beings who walk or fly or swim or crawl; surely you know I cannot count that high.

How then can I count my efforts? In the moment of crises am I doing enough? Am I staying away enough (6ft and staying at home as much as possible)? Am I being in contact enough (phone calls and video conferences and snail mail)?

Am I opening up enough (how can I help), am I keeping my family safe enough (let’s not do that)?

Am I taking care of myself enough (walks and family and friends and reading)?

The box of food I’ve collected, is that enough to count? The one package of toilet paper I found, does that work? The one small family I was able to bus back home–they were only two people–is that enough?

Count the stars.

Count the sand.

God reassures Abram & Sarai that they are connected to the world, that they are part of a greater universe, that they are part of the whole of human family and because they are of one humanity

their grain of time

their glow of starlight

is enough.

Remind me of that too I pray.

Amen

astropixie: dont forget to look up | Calvin and hobbes quotes ...

Image

More Pandemic Prayers and Resources

Moses: Experiencing God (part II)

Part !

Ultimately God is relational, and our experience of God is relational….that’s why we need to know

However, what is hard is some people haven’t ever had that burning bush experience…I haven’t been in that place before, but I know that some people haven’t experienced God.

What I do know is that when I talk to people about experiencing/knowing God that when they try to UNDERSTAND who God is, that is the wrong way to go about things.

I don’t know about you but I personally live with four other beings, none of whom I will fully understand (and its more than the fact that I’m a female living with four males), having a relationship with someone doesn’t mean that you fully understand them. Also, I know that relationships are different with different people….

Every time a read a parenting blog or article about the “right way” to raise every child I think how can this be? Different children raised by the same parents turn out differently, even I know I parent my three child in different ways. I relate to each of them differently. God similarly relates to each of us in a different way.

That is why we need a faith community, because none of us can have a full experience of God…well…if your like me, then not more than for an nanosecond. I love those moments of experiencing God. Madeline L’engle describes some of those moments as when you are looking at the stars (her parents used to wake her up to stargaze and its a big part of her writing).

You can envision Abraham having that moment….looking at the stars with God, filling the fullness of God’s will and purpose. Having it for a moment, and then continuing (since we can’t hold the fulness of God all the time)  through a relationship.

What I do know, is that experiencing God is relational, not rational, that we cannot fully know God by ourselves, and that this is why we are relational with both God and each other. Thus we better know God through all of our relationships–with God and each other.

That is why we are in community, because we don’t all have the same experience of God. We are together, not to tell each other that the only way to experience and know God is the way that works for us! (Did you know that you shouldn’t like ALL of worship, ideally different people like different parts, because its not all for one person, its for a diverse group of people so different people can experience worship during different parts of the service)

The point of the variety is so that we can share, experience and relate to God differently and (in the best of times) simultaneously. I don’t know what to do if you haven’t experienced God, but I do know, that your best bet is a faith community…Because we can’t experience God alone, we can only believe in God…alone…..

 

The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey—the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivitesand Jebusites. And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. 10 So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.”

11 But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”

12 And God said, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you[b] will worship God on this mountain.”

13 Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?”

14 God said to Moses, “I am who I am.[c] This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’”

15 God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The Lord,[d] the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.’

“This is my name forever,
the name you shall call me
from generation to generation.

16 “Go, assemble the elders of Israel and say to them, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—appeared to me and said: I have watched over you and have seen what has been done to you in Egypt. 17 And I have promised to bring you up out of your misery in Egypt into the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—a land flowing with milk and honey.’ –Exodus 3:7-17

 

Moses– still a human being….(Part I)

Names are important, Before this moment, God was known as the God of Abraham (and Isaac, and Sarah!)

The God who promises the stars to Abraham….

But here is Moses, In Midian, encountering God. Having the Burning bush experience, starting his relationship with God. Where just seeing God’s magnificence isn’t enough, being the God

Most of us would LOVE this moment: this compelling, overwhelming, this is where it ALL begins.  But Moses, dares to ask questions…why? I think its because he is a human. A human being who was made to name things, a human being who needs to know…

And Moses has an identity crises. A human-what-is-the-meaning-of-my-life-and-who-am-I-anyway Identity crises. Moses, who has been living in Midian, after being born a Hebrew slave and raised as an Egyptian Prince. No wonder he’s confused….he asks who Am I to do this?

So God replies….don’t worry your MY messenger, and I PROMISE I’ll be with you the whole way. Don’t Worry.

And here is where Moses is human, again, asking the next, logical question. Ok, then so who are you to come with me? Not, what’s your name…but “Who are you?”

(Just like Jacob asking how it is he could find God here?)

And God says “I Am, what I AM” This is at a time when most people, including the Egyptians, had different Gods for different things, but this God is claiming to be enough. Plus YWHW in Hebrew also has a future tone–I AM, WHAT I AM, and I WILL BE, what I WILL BE. Implying that God will be God, but in order to find out more, you need to sign up for….

(Here is a cute handy-dandy ref. chart to help us see the process of Call)

Part II to follow