Disability Glorified, A Prayer

Ableism kills,

Jesus you were not ableist.

What kind of diagnoses did your twelve disciples have?

Who limped, who was “ugly”

Who had voices, who had ADD or Autism or OCD?

….

As you healed and were asked,

What sin was committed that this person is blind?

The people asked, and, then our Savior said

None. Neither he nor his parents!

And then Jesus, you touched lepers,

those who were lame or blind or bled,

the poor, the oddly shaped and the dirty,

the ones who humans avoided even looking at–

because in our hearts of hearts,

we are so scared of disabilities that we avoid eye contact

afraid of catching it,

embarassed that we still

even today,

do not know how to interact

with people who exist differently than us.

—-

In some ways Jesus’s resurrection

might be the scariest thing of all.

Jesus you were young and healthy,

and died anyway, and the disciples

(of course) fled death.

Except for the women,

who probably had the most intimate

relationship with death and dead bodies.

…..

Jesus the Good News is not just that you returned

but you returned with holes in your arms and legs–

who were still wholly you, but unchanged.

You were still perfect, but your body was still yours!

What hope for those with disabilities.

It leads us to ask, are there wheelchairs and mobility aides in heaven?

Is it a place where your body is not weighty and there is no more pain,

but you are still you?

Are those with Dyslexia, ADD, OCD, Bipolar, Down Syndrome, Autism and more are–

Beloved and understood!

….

Jesus, I am so thankful that you got it,

that you get it,

that ableism kills

That you do not promise wealth and health!

That you do not need our bodies to be perfect for us to enter heaven–

You know Jesus I am not yet 40 and relatively healthy,

and I would definitely fail that test.

….

Jesus, I am thankful that as humans

make decisions that are more and more ableist

and fall more and more in the vein of a death cult–

(ignoring all those who aren’t fit or rich or whatever)

that I am hanging on

with every breath I take

that Jesus is not ableist.

….

And, maybe Thomas wasn’t either.

And as sure as the holes remained

in Jesus sacred body–

Holes that I am invited to touch

whenever I doubt or feel alone or scared of my own imperfections

I can breathe in

Jesus wasn’t ableist

and breathe out

And Jesus affirms all people.

..

Thank God for the Risen

holy, hole-y body!

Amen.

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

If you want to support my work, Please Contribute to my Doctorate in Ministry in Creative Writing at Pittsburgh Seminary. It is a degree as a Public Theologian!

Image: https://image.shutterstock.com/image-vector/hands-jesus-christ-isolated-hand-260nw-186438794.jpg

April 24th Thomas: Disability Glorified

Sermon Ideas:

But Thomas

Brave Thomas

John 20:19-31

Psalm 145:13-21

Topical Prayer: Disability Glorified

Call to Worship

God we are ready to see you

So we think

God we want to see you

Be present with us here today

Call to Confession: God we are so glad Jesus is ready to hear our full selves. Come let us sit with Jesus and confess.

Confession: Jesus we confess that it is sometimes hard to believe that you will glorify all things. Sometimes the questions Thomas has about the holes in Jesus’s body, the questions about disabilities or differences or even the vast varieties that we see around us are just too much for our human brains to process. We confess that we are a lot like Thomas–we are often just not brave enough to voice our doubts and misgivings out loud. Forgive us, and remind us that you glorify all things, and somehow do not take away one iota of who we truly are. Remind us with the Holy Spirit we pray. Amen.

Assurance of Pardon: If Christ is for us, who can be against us? Know and feel and taste the truth on your tongue: In Jesus Christ we are forgiven.

Prayer of the Day/Dedication: Walk with us Christ, remind us when we falter or feel alone that you are with us we pray. Amen.

Children: Talk about what you think Thomas’s reaction was when he saw Jesus, it is not actually described. Did they hug? Did he actually put his hand through the holes? Did they cry?

Hymns: We Walk By Faith and Not By Sight, Invisible Immortal God Only Wise, Lift High the Cross, Christ is Made the Sure Foundation, God of Grace and God of Glory, Lord Whose Love through Humble Service

Please support my writing: Katy’s Doctorate in Ministry in Creative Writing at Pittsburgh Seminary. 

For Word versions of the Liturgy email me at Katyandtheword at gmail

From Lament to Hope Full Resources

I want Answers: a prayer

Lord, I confess that it would be a heck of a lot easier to throw up my hands and say God will provide.

It’s easy to look to heaven for answers, instead of grace. I’m a practically minded person, somedays solutions are all I want. Not hints or insights or learning journeys, a neon sign pointing to what I should do and how I should fix it seems easier.

Though I know this is easier, I also know you are a God who loves me and teaches me exactly the way I am. You do not force my hand, nor my choices. And the truth is, sometimes even when the solution is made obvious, I have trouble recognizing it until afterwards.

You have foresight, I am only blessed with hindsight.

Like Thomas, we think the solution is seeing to believe, and instead he ignore’s the wounds and give Jesus a hug.

This is why Acts is so important, because it’s only after the fact of Jesus’s Resurrection that they start to understand what it’s all about.

This is why Easter is not one day, because we need time and hindsight to truly act upon the commandments that Christ has given us.

Remind me Lord that this Unfolding Easter, this grace in action, this time to practice the kingdom over and over is a gift. And that solutions wouldn’t have helped me understand anyway.

For God is about love and grace and forgiveness, not solutions.

Because we are not a problem, we are the part of the relationship.

Remind me of this I pray.

Amen.

When in Doubt: Thomas Narrative Lectionary Prayer

John 20: 19-31 and Psalm 145: 13-21

Call to Worship: Lord we come to know you, So Lord we come to taste and see the kingdom through communion, Lord we are full of doubts, So Lord, we come to touch and believe that you are the crucified God, Lord we are full of worry, So Lord, let us confess together, here, that you are “My Lord and My God” today. 

Prayer of Confession: Lord we confess that we are much more likely to remember people’s moments of doubt, then their acts of belief. We call Thomas the doubting one, when he was the one cheered Jesus’s return to Lazurus, willing to risk stoning and death. Too often we worry about our doubts, instead of embracing our triumphs. Remind us, here and now, that you are our Lord and God in times of both doubt and certainty. Let us confess you as our Lord and God, even when we aren’t sure, we pray.

Assurance of Pardon: God is faithful in all God’s words,and gracious in all deeds.
The Lord upholds all who are falling, and raises up all who are bowed down. Therefore, we can be confident in the truth In Jesus Christ we are forgiven, Amen.

Prayer of Dedication/Offering Prayer Lord, let us go into the world, ready to find and hug Jesus. Do not allow doubt to be a stumbling block, but instead teach us how to share the love of Jesus Christ in such a way that all might hear it, so that we might be better dedicated to you we pray. Amen.

Prayers and Liturgy by Pastor Katy Stenta who is the solo pastor at a bigger on the inside church in Albany, NY and enjoys reading fantasy, soaking up sunshine, playing with her three sons and visiting her husband at his work, the library.

Shannon A Thompson

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