Good Friday: Denial and Grace in Crises

Before this night is over Peter, you will deny me three times,

In fact each and every one of you will deny me before the end.

Not me Lord, I would never deny you.

The absolute horror of what was going to happen could not be fathomed by the disciples. It was too a deep a hole for them to see. Death, betrayal, denial and damnation were unthinkable. After all they had faith, and they had Jesus. What else would they need?

Denial is very human. It’s how we handle some of the world, it’s one way to fend off PTSD.

What are you in denial about right now? Here, in the middle of a pandemic, what is too much for you to take in?

Remember that even the disciples had trouble processing it all. Remember that only Christ and God can hold the enormity of the tragedy that is taking place. And Jesus requested the presence of these fumbling disciples in Gethsemane to pray. And after they messed up not once, not twice, but three times, but Jesus did not send them away.

We will not be sent away, and our presence is necessary.

Give yourself the grace you need to pray, be in denial and present in whatever strange combination exists within your soul, and remember you do in good company.

More Pandemic Prayers and Resources

Holy Week: Praying Our way Through!

Palm Sunday was the premature victory parade.

People in the streets, gathering because they thought the battle was over.

In the great tradition of Greek & Roman celebrations, they came and laid cloaks and palms at the victor’s feet to soften his path.

But Jesus, knew the hardest things would be next–

The Sedar Meal where Jesus spends his last night on earth with his beloved.

Then he tries to tell the disciples that he is–that they all are–betrayed, but no one believes him, and Judas denies his complicity

I wonder if this is the moment that Jesus decides he’s going to wash his disciples feet. Lavishing love upon them one last time, giving them another more personal memory to be layered upon the parade where I’m sure the disciples walked on the dusty ground near Jesus.

The long journey to Jerusalem, the cries of victory and the soothing touch of the Lord Jesus, the bellies full of good food all of the makings of the end of a good day.

Palm Sunday was the premature victory parade; people gathered in the streets thinking that there was going a battle that needed to be won. Unaware that it would instead be about healing.

I think about this as Holy Week seems creeps into today. In the midst of a pandemic I feel the need to celebrate the good, the anguish of seeing people die, the waiting, waiting, waiting of Holy Saturday.

I don’t want any premature victories, let me tell you that straight off. And I don’t want us to be going to war. And I already tire of the heightened violence, the excuse for evil racist attacks, the righteous violence of those who knock over people who are spitting on food or violating the social distancing rule–Peter’s anger in the garden seems way more present these days.

I want reconciliation, I want healing. I want us to all act like Easter is coming. Not according to any human calendar or calculation, but because Shalom is the ultimate goal. I want to work towards the healing of the world, because it’s the right thing to do, not because I need this victory or that one.

Palm Sunday was fine, but I’ll wait for Easter as long as this Holy Saturday takes.

More Prayers and Resources about the Pandemic Here

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 ...

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More Pandemic Prayers and Resources

As the Rain Falls

The rain is falling today.

It’s indiscriminate. The rain doesn’t care who it falls on.

If you go out in the rain you will get wet.

It falls on the powerful and the meek.

It falls on the just and unjust

Yesterday the sun was shining

It didn’t care; the sun doesn’t care who it touches

If you went into the sun, you received it’s rays filled with vitamin D

It shone on those who were happy and those who mourned

It shone on those with COVID19 and those without alike.

Sometimes I feel caught up in my shoulds….

What should I be doing? How should I be feeling? Who should I be, now in the middle of this world crises.

God reminds me, God is my God, and the God of those who are angry, and the God of those who are terrified, or alone.

God is still my God when I feel those things. The sun still shines on me and the rain still makes me wet.

And if I’m just scraping to make ends meet: physically, monetarily, intellectually or emotionally. God is still my God then too.

You can’t be too anything for God: too good or too bad, too straight or too queer, too rich or too poor, too sad or too happy.

God promises, no matter what, God will be our God.

And I’m glad, in this time when I can’t touch many people–I can feel the drops of rain on my tongue and the warmth of the sun between my shoulders.

Remind me whoever I feel too much, or too little God that these are not your limits. Allow me to take comfort in the sun and the rain I pray. Amen.

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Other Prayers and Resources for the Pandemic

 

Pandemic Beatitudes

Cursed are the greedy, the one who put corporations before others, for they will end up with only money

Cursed are the liars, the fakers and the scammers, for they will end up with nothing

Cursed are the penny pinchers, the ones who think they immune, the ones who take other’s lives into their hands, their is the guilt of hurting others

‪Blessed are those who stay home and wait for the resurrection not as a date on the calendar but the as the return to wholeness, health and peace in the community. For theirs is the faith of the church.

Blessed are those who are at work, seeing hundreds of people a day, honoring the essentials of staying alive. For the work of their hands reflects the shape of their hearts.

Blessed are those who are waiting, waiting for the isolation to end, waiting to see if their loved one comes home safe from work, waiting to hear the news of a test in their lives. For theirs is the fullness of times

Blessed are the truck drivers and the custodial staffs who apply and scrub for all of us, for theirs will be all the comfort in the world.

Blessed are the truth tellers, the scientists and the fact fact-finders, for theirs will be the relationships of hope.

Blessed are the stressed, the homeworkers, the homeschoolers, the teachers without students, the workers without offices theirs will be peace.

More Prayers & Resources for the Pandemic

 

Act of God

Is this an act of God, asked Abram & Sarai when they were barren

Hagar when she was abused by Abram & Sarai

Job when he watched everything he loved drip away

Joseph when he was cast into the pit

Puah & Shiprah when they were ordered to put the babies in the water

Moses when he understood his people were enslaved

The Prodigal wondered when he was lost, the widow thought when she lived on nothing, Mary & Martha questioned when Lazarus died, the disciples cried when they arrested Jesus for heresy.

Is this an act of God we ask when the hurricanes howl and the tornados terrorize and the earthquakes wreak havoc?

How about a world pandemic is this an act of God?

Where is our Force Majeure? We want a new contract. If it’s an act of God then there’s nothing under our control and we can just wait for God’s helicopter to save us.

But Abraham & Sarah became the parents of nations

Hagar kept her child safe & found her freedom

Joseph was raised from the pit the Pharaoh’s advisor

Puah & Shiprah hid the babies from the Pharaoh

Moses lead the slaves to freedom

The Prodigal came home, the Widow gave away her mites, Lazarus was healed and returned to Mary and Martha, and Jesus rose from the dead.

I don’t really know what an act of God is.

But I know who God is, God is the God of jubilee, the God healing, the God of redos, reconciliations and resurrections.

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We can enact the will of God. We are Abraham & Sarah, Joseph, Puah & Shiprah, Moses. When we enact the will of God return home, we become healed, give to the poor and become resurrected with Christ.

Are we an act of God? God I pray that we are.

More Prayers & Resources for the Pandemic

 

Pandemic Prayers & Resources

Please Share/Adapt with Credit to Katy Stenta and Please contribute to my Doctorate of Ministry with a Donation  I have PayPal https://paypal.me/KatyStenta?locale.x=en_US Venmo www.venmo.com/Katy-Stenta or Google Pay to Katyandtheword at gmail. My go fundme is located at gf.me/u/y8n94m

Also See my more Mundane Prayers: Prayers for Surviving Day to Day

Abundance of Caution Prayer

Lord I Hadn’t Planned to Give this much up for Lent

Flattening The Curve Prayer

Best Laid Plans Prayer

Viral Prayers: Litany for Help & of Thanksgiving

Act of God Prayer, What is an act of God

Prayers of the People

Pandemic Beatitudes: Blessings & Curses

Garden of Gethsemane Meditation

May God is the God of Emptiness

As the Rain Falls

Everything Counts/Count the Stars

Apocalypse Meditation 

Nothing will ever be the Same Again: Temples & Resurrection

Palm Sunday

Chaos & the Cross: Passion Sunday

God of Sleep

Maundy Thursday Prayer

Presence Over Perfection (& Easter)

Denial & Grace in Crises: Good Friday

Essential Workers at the Cross

Thank God it’s Friday? Psalm 22 Good Friday

I hate waiting: Holy Saturday Prayer

Virtual Communion: a Meditation/Prayer

Holy Saturday Meditation

Holy Saturday: A confessional prayer about too much time

Say Nothing Easter (Mark)

Can You Hear Easter? (The good news) Mark

Easter is the Beginning

Grief

Body of Christ: Essential workers, we need one another

Virtual Communion Resources

Preparing for Worship 1

Preparing for Worship 2 (family edition)

Love One Another: The Value of Caring

Socially Distanced God: the struggle

Stuck on Repeat

The Moment for a Psalm (Because I don’t know how things work anymore)

In this Smoosh of Time Prayer for Groundhog Day

A Prayer about Masks in the Bible

Prayer at the Mailbox

End of My Rope Prayer

I’m Tired of Being Part of a Major Historical Event: a prayer

The Lord is My Shepherd: Sheep Scale Prayer

Stealing Time: Sabbath & Rest

Imprecation:  Shatter Them

Existential Crises: https://katyandtheword.com/2020/10/21/existential-crises/(opens in a new tab)

Post-Election Prayer

Dropping you a line: A Prayer

Ducks (not) in a Row Prayer

Exponential Growth Selah!

Pieces of Joy: A Holiday Prayer

It’s Complicated: a Holiday

Tantrum Prayer

I Can’t Catch My Breath

How Do We Feel (We Don’t)

I’m So Angry

Pandemic Mourning

Back to “Normal” A Prayer

Ashes to Ashes: a Prayer 

500,000 People: Ashes

Kingdom of Heaven (Vaccination) Prayer

Prayer of the Pandemic Era (It ain’t over yet)

Pandemic Resurrection

Also….

Mundane Prayer to Survive the Day to Day

‪Blessed are those who stay home and wait for the resurrection not as a date on the calendar but the as the return to wholeness, health and peace in the community ‬

Please Share/Adapt with Credit to Katy Stenta and Please contribute to my Doctorate of Ministry with a Donation  I have PayPal https://paypal.me/KatyStenta?locale.x=en_US Venmo www.venmo.com/Katy-Stenta or Google Pay to Katyandtheword at gmail. My go fund me is located at gf.me/u/y8n94m

More About Me; My Story & My Writing

Best Laid Plans Prayer

Lord, we had the best laid plans. The teacher were teaching, the doctors were healing, the calendars were full. And we had everything set. But plans are ephemeral, the illusion of control. Lord, when I get stressed, I go over my schedule. First x, then y, then z. First x, then y, then z. Now all my best laid plans fail. I cobble together new ones, but they are ragged and imperfect. I have no best laid plans. All I have is you God, comforter in the middle of the night. God who stands by the lonely, wrapping them in the breath of the Holy Spirit. God of the sick and poor–I’m so glad that I worship the God of the sick and the poor in this uncertain time. God of kairos, I’m glad you don’t run on human time, because it’s all slurring together and last week sounds like last year and the future is dim at best.

God I no longer have any plans, I only have you.

Be with me I pray.

Amen.

 

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More Prayers & Resources for the Pandemic

Flattening the Curve

You know, and I know that a curve cannot be flat.

If it’s flat, it is not a curve.

Here we are doing the impossible.

Flattening a curve

Holding Hands by social distancing

Letting go of each other and calling each other constantly

I know more impossibilities are to come

We will be lonely and sick of each other

We will be learning and working on no things without work and school

We will stay home when we are sick

So many impossibilities are about to happen.

But God, you are impossible

You are 3 in 1, you are human and God, you are male and female

Help us to do the impossible too

Make the curve flat we pray

 

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More Prayers & Resources for the Pandemic

Viral Prayers

Blessed are
the retail workers
the grocery store workers
the workers who stock
the truckers
the sanitation workers
the emergency response workers
the energy sector workers
the housekeepers and custodians
the doctors, the nurses and all their support staff
the emergency workers
the departments of health
the pharmacists
Prayers for
the sick
the medically vulnerable
the disabled
the people who live with mental illness
the uninsured
the underpaid
the gig workers
the small businesses
the artists & entertainers
the travel industry
the flight attendants, TSA and airport workers
the parents who have to work & be teachers
the educators
the displaced college students
the kids who will go hungry
the parents of those with special needs whose entire routine has been disrupted
the lonely
the people stuck in places of abuse
the imprisoned
the ones on the border
the institutionalized
the nursing homes
the homeless
Thank you for
Science
Social distancing
Cuban Viral Research
Chinese closing of emergency hospitals
Canadian Vaccine Research
Italian Singing
the Chinese Businessmen who donate masks & sanitizers
the Scottish shopowners who buy masks & sanitizers for the elderly
the Ballplayers who donate salaries to arena workers
The schools getting food to those in need
The homeschoolers & online academics sharing their resources
Those supporting small businesses
Those who show up to work
Those who make phone calls
Those who get things to those in need
The ones who step up and ask, how can we help