Supreme Justice? A Prayer

God,

You and I

know that I am uncomfortable

pledging allegiance to a flag–

because that flag’s justice

is not your justice.

Justice that flows like waters

is not promised in the flag

Supreme Justice–where mainly white men

reign like kings of the day;

welp God, I remember

all your warnings about kings,

and that you sent

ahem,

let’s say a different kind of judges

heroes who rebalanced the books

against the powers that be–

God we are the one

who are to empower the judges

against the Supreme Justices

Restoring Personhood, Privacy, Sexuality, Climate, Native Rights

Obliterating our hunger for Death Cults.

God, I do not want liberty and justice for all

because those human ideals cannot come close to

justice flowing down like water,

and righteousness like an everflowing stream

refresh our thirst for that which is good,

remind us to listen to those in the margins,

who still remember what justice tastes like.

Because surely it tastes like communion,

and the Kin(g)dom

and Love;

If only we can remember,

Whet our appetite for justice, I pray.

Amen.

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

Broken, A Prayer

Dear God

I know

Every time a denomination

Breaks over justice issues:

Like slavery, racism,

women in ministry, abortion rights,

And the personhood of LGBTQIA siblings

That you are crying big tears—

Tears that say

“Jerusalem O Jerusalem

I long to snuggle you under my wings—

Unified and beloved—

And peck to death any who threaten you”

Just kidding Jesus I added that last part,

Based on what mother hens actually do.

But I also think God,

As violent words, weapons, wars and rhetoric

Batters our souls—because after all bad theology kills

You crucified Christ know that better than anyone.

—I think about how you took bread

Among your beloved

You took bread

Blessed it

Broke it

And said “This is my Body Broken—

Broken for you”

Jesus, today your Body feels broken;

Again.

Bless it we pray

Bless this Broken Bread

Bless our crumbs

Teach us Belovedness

And

How to be a resurrection people

In the midst of brokenness

Scarred and real

So we can say together

We are Christ’s Body

Teach us this

we pray.

Amen.

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

Maundy Thurs (or Resurrection Promises) a prayer

Jesus

You promised to show up

Whenever we feed one another

In your name…

You promise that we can celebrate

Communion

With one another and you

Whenever we want/need to

How is this possible?

Jesus let me hang onto your promises,

And remind me,

Even if I let go—your promises remain

They are better than time or borders

Or any other human invention

God, I’m going to stand on your promises,

Or hide in them

Or even if I lose them—

I’m going to wait for them to find me again

Like Ruth and Naomi,

Like Joseph in Egypt,

Like Paul

Your promises don’t find us because we are perfect

Or deserving

They find us simple because we are loved.

May we feel beloved today.

Amen.

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

Mary’s Affirmation–A Prayer about Cana

Jesus,

Today I wonder if you shared some insecurities with your mom,

If you told her you had to leave home,

and start to do all of the dangerous things

she sang about

when you were still in vitro–

and I wonder if you had imposter syndrome

Because your were–after all, fully human,

I wonder if you whispered that you didn’t want to leave home to her

in the middle of the night

or if you worried about leaving your brothers and sisters

when Joseph is so conspicuously absent from the picture now

You, the eldest, the man of the house,

would be leaving too, just to cause a revolution, that’s all

and here is your Mother’s blessing,

at a wedding,

I wonder if she wanted to give you a good memory to start your journey…

if these were good family friends

who had more friends than they could afford–and I can just imagine God

how you looked Jesus when you were like,

“Seriously Woman, this is not what God’s power is for!”

And Mary, Chosen of God, doesn’t even deign to answer her son.

Lord, I just imagine the Mom Look she gives Jesus.

God, I’d love to be able to see someone giving

Jesus, Christ our Lord and Savior, a Mom Look

Because aren’t those Mom Looks affirming of all that we are, and can be–

they are the opposite of imposter syndrome, are they not?

Mary, gives the Mom Look and then commands everyone in the Room

“You will do as my son says” and gives a grand exit,

Beginning Jesus’s ministry with a flourish…of hospitality,

She blesses Jesus’s ministry with a Party–She starts the ministry as it must end–

with the outpouring of wine.

There is no formal communion narrative in John, but it fits in right here…

as we on the inter-webs argue about what can make communion..

telling us all we need to know about communion

God you turned water into wine,

you know the truth–

its all real,

every drop of Hospitality and Communion,

and identity Affirmation,

It

Is

All

Real

Ministry.

Don’t ever let us forget I pray.

In the name of your Partying Jesus Christ,

and his affirming Mother I pray.

Amen.

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

If you find my work useful, please consider giving to my Doctorate in Ministry in Creative Writing https://gofund.me/70a114f9. It is a “working theologian’s” doctorate where I preach, write and share my work with the world all at the same time. If your church uses my work extensively and could use a receipt email me at katyandtheword at gmail and let me know!

"Water To Wine" is a painting by Darcie Pike,
Image” https://www.journeywithjesus.net/Essays/Darcie_Pike_Water_To_Wine_sm.jpg

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

Easter Sunday Prayers

Journey to Resurrection

April 4

Resurrection

Resurrection of Our Lord 

Luke 24:1-12: http://bible.oremus.org/?ql=476536856

Psalm 118: 17, 21-24: http://bible.oremus.org/?ql=476536876

Call to Worship: 

God, I thank you that you have become my salvation

Look! The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone

This is the day that the Lord has made!

Let us rejoice and be glad in it!

Christ is risen!

Christ is risen, indeed, alleluia. 

Invitation: Let all who are astonished by the resurrection confess themselves to God. 

Confession: God we confess that we too are perplexed by the resurrection. How did it happen? Is it real? Did it truly happen to save us all? Help us in our confusion and questions. Give us the courage to ask about the things we don’t know and the wisdom to let some things be mysterious. Help us to be a resurrection people, ready to go out and proclaim the mystery and the truth of God’s love to all we meet. In the name of your risen son Jesus Christ we pray. Amen. 

Assurance of Pardon: Christ is alive! Risen to forgive all sins. Let us tell the truth: In Jesus Christ we are forgiven. 

Prayer of the Day/Dedication: God we are in great need of alleluias! Let us go into Easter with full hearts and dripping with grace we pray.

Communion Prayer: Lord Jesus, it is a great honor to celebrate your death once again. This time in the midst of the very resurrection you promised. You remind us that we cannot have resurrection without death. Comfort us as we mourn your death, and enable us to celebrate your life all within this meal. Send you Holy Spirit to dance upon our tongues and give us a foretaste of the feast in heaven, with all the saints that were and are and will be we pray. Amen. 

Hymns: Christ is Alive!, Come Ye Faithful Raise the Strain, The Day of Resurrection!, Thine is the Glory, Jesus Christ is Risen Today!, 

Taize: Laudate Dominum: Sing, Praise and Bless the Lord, Peoples, Nations, Alleluia! 

For the Complete List of Narrative Lectionary Lent Resources can be found here including a way to receive a doc copy

Narrative Lectionary Lent: Luke

Finding the Way to Jerusalem; or Getting Lost

During this journey to Jerusalem, Jesus practices the grace that is found within his death and resurrection, twice. First he is rejected by Samaria, the shorter way to Jerusalem (Lent 1) and then he reclaims them as his neighbor (Lent 2), he reclaims them even as he journeys onward. Then we get los (and found), die and see ghost, and then, finally are reclaimed and found with Zaccheus. Journeying to Jerusalem is an exercise in getting lost, dying and resurrecting together.

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

Lent Kit (most items can be found at home)

Ashes to Ashes: Lent/Ash Weds Prayer

Ash Wednesday: Bulletin Prayers & Hymn/Taize Suggestions, Topical Prayer, Video of Topical Prayer

Lent 1: Bulletin Prayers & Hymn/Taize Suggestions, Topical Prayer, Video of Topical Prayer

Lent 2: Bulletin Prayers & Hymn/Taize Suggestions, Topical Prayer, Video of Topical Prayer

Lent 3: Bulletin Prayers & Hymn/Taize Suggestions, Topical Prayer , Video of Topical Prayer

Lent 4: Bulletin Prayers & Hymn/Taize Suggestions, Topical Prayer, Video of Topical Prayer

Lent 5: Bulletin Prayers & Hymn/Taize Suggestions, Topical Prayer, Video of Topical Prayer

Lent 6: Bulletin Prayers & Hymn/Taize Suggestions, Topical Prayer, Video of Topical Prayer

Mandy Thursday: Bulletin Prayers & Hymn/Taize Suggestions, Topical Prayer, Communion Worship Bulletin juxtaposing Psalm 23, Video of Topical Prayer

Good Friday: Worship Bulletin juxtaposing The Lord’s Prayer

Easter Sunday: Bulletin Prayers & Hymn/Taize Suggestions, Topical Prayer, Video of Topical Prayer

Children Ideas

Lenten Devotional Calendar: Feel free to email for doc version and link for google calendar (Katyandtheword at gmail)

Video Collection of Topical Prayers

Life in Slow Motion: A Lenten Prayer

Additional Holy Week Prayers

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

If you need a doc version of all of this for easier formatting, email me at katyandtheword at gmail with the topic line “Lent” and I will send you a copy

If you appreciate my work and want to support me, please contribute to my Doctorate in Divinity in Creative Writing. I have a stretch goal of $2500 by June. and am more than 80% there! Any Amount is appreciated, and I am so thankful where they have gotten me so far!

Good Friday Communion Bulletin Juxtaposing the Lord’s Prayer

Journeying Alone

April 2

Good Friday

Crucifixion

Luke 23:32-47

Psalm 31:5-13

All: Our Father, Who art in Heaven, Hallowed by Thy Name

Arrest

Then Pilate asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” He answered, “You say so.” Then Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowds, “I find no basis for an accusation against this man.” But they kept urgently demanding with loud shouts that he should be crucified; and their voices prevailed. 24So Pilate gave his verdict that their demand should be granted. 26As they led him away, they seized a man, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming from the country, and they laid the cross on him, and made him carry it behind Jesus Luke 23:3-4,23,26

All: Give us this day our Daily Bread

Mourning

A great number of the people followed him, and among them were women who were beating their breasts and wailing for him. 28But Jesus turned to them and said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. 29For the days are surely coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed.’ Luke 23: 27-29

Communion (Celebrate appropriate to your context)

Confession

All: Forgive Us Our Debts as we Forgive Our Debtors

(Silence for Confession)

Two others also, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him. When they came to the place that is called The Skull, they crucified Jesus there with the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” Luke 23: 32-34

Option: To Nail Sins to the Cross or Blow out candles now

Assurance of Pardon

All: Lead Us Not Into Temptation, But Deliver us from Evil

The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine, and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” There was also an inscription over him, “This is the King of the Jews.” One of the criminals who were hanged there kept deriding him and saying, “Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed have been condemned justly, for we are getting what we deserve for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” He replied, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” Luke 23:36-43

Optional Taize: Jesus Remember Me, When You Come Into Your Kingdom or Were You There When They Crucified the Lord 

Darkness

All: For Thine is the Kingdom and The Glory and The Power Forever, Amen. 

It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, while the sun’s light failed; and the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Then Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” Having said this, he breathed his last. When the centurion saw what had taken place, he praised God and said, “Certainly this man was innocent.” Luke 23:44-47

Amen

Option: To Blow Out all of the rest of the Candles 

Music is optional to add wherever, since everyone is handling it differently, suggestions below

Hymns: Take Up Your Cross the Savior Said, Precious Lord Take My Hand, Why Has God Forsaken Me, Alas And Did My Savior Bleed


Taize: Jesus Remember Me When You Come into your Kingdom, Per Crucem 

For the Complete List of Narrative Lectionary Lent Resources can be found here including a way to receive a doc copy

Maundy Thursday Communion Worship

All: The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not Want

So Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and prepare the Passover meal for us that we may eat it.” They asked him, “Where do you want us to make preparations for it?” “Listen,” he said to them, “when you have entered the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you; follow him into the house he enters. Luke 22:8-10

All: Even though I walk through the Valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil, for you are with me. Your rod and your staff—they comfort me.

And speak to the owner of the house. ‘The teacher asks you, “Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?”’ He will show you a large room upstairs, already furnished. Make preparations for us there.” So they went and found everything as he had told them; and they prepared the Passover meal. Luke 22:11-13

All: You prepare a table before me, in the presence of my enemies 

When the hour came, he took his place at the table, and the apostles with him. He said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I tell you, I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” Luke 22:14-16

(Option: Do a table preparation)

All: You anoint my head with oil, my cup overflows

 Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he said, “Take this and divide it among yourselves; for I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” Luke 22: 17-18

(Pour into the cup)

All: Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life

Then he took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And he did the same with the cup after supper, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood. Luke 22:19-20

Celebrate Communion

All: And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord my whole long life. 

Jesus said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those in authority over them are called benefactors. But not so with you; rather the greatest among you must become like the youngest, and the leader like one who serves. For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one at the table? But I am among you as one who serves. Luke 22:25-27

Closing Prayer of Thanksgiving 

(Feel free to add music, but everyone is handling it differently, I suggest The Shepherd will Supply My Need)

For the Complete List of Narrative Lectionary Lent Resources can be found here including a way to receive a doc copy

Mandy Thursday Prayers

Journeying Together

April 1

Maundy Thursday

Last Supper

Luke 22:1-27: http://bible.oremus.org/?ql=476536091

Psalm 34:8-10: http://bible.oremus.org/?ql=476536110

Call to Worship

God, you call us to love and serve one another

Let us enter into this space as disciples of Christ

Jesus, you are about to break your very self for us

Let us enter into communion with each other and you, we pray. Amen.

Invitation: God calls us each by name to approach, come let us confess ourselves to God.

Prayer of Confession: Jesus, we are aware that you are holy and we confess that we do not always understand how you can be motivated to serve. We confess that we do not know how to love and serve one another. We get caught off guard by the command, and that it is very hard to put into practice. Forgive us, we pray. Help us to recognize the ways in which we and others love and serve one another, so that we might be better equipped to do as you command. We pray in your most Holy Name. Amen. 

Assurance of Pardon: Hear the good news, Jesus will always forgive us. So let us reassure one another: In Jesus Christ we are Forgiven. Amen. 

Communion Prayer: Here we are Jesus, the time and place that you serve your very self up for communion. Bless these elements and this celebration of your death, we pray. Send your Holy Spirit, remind us that you created and love us, and give us what we need to sustain us through Holy Week we pray. Amen. 

Hymns: O for a Closer Walk with God, There’s a Sweet Sweet Spirit, What a Friend We Have in Jesus, 

Taize: I am Sure I shall see the Goodness of the Lord in the Land of the Living

For the Complete List of Narrative Lectionary Lent Resources can be found here including a way to receive a doc copy

For the Complete List of Narrative Lectionary Lent Resources can be found here including a way to receive a doc copy

Shannon A Thompson

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