Palm Sunday: Waiting for the Stones

Jesus, I don’t know how much shouting of Hosanna will happen on Sunday.

I’m uncertain who will be there and how we will parade,

And Lord, you know, there will not be any singing. We miss it, God, but are trying to do right.

And though we may be sighing “Hosanna: Lord Save Us” we also know that we have to take some responsibility and help to save ourselves.

And, most days I doubt we actually want peace on earth, we are so bad at enacting and supporting true peace.

And Jesus is not going to come in guns blazing; Thank God!

What does the Lord require for Jesus to come? What humble entry can we cede to the Son of God?

What videos or drivethrus or palm crafts might come?

God, I confess this might be the week that there will be few shouts. We will be sticking well to your humility and simplicity this year.

So I will be listening to the stones.

For the truth cannot be stopped.

“Blessed is the one One who comes in the name of the Lord, Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest heaven.”

Amen.

Hosanna.

Amen.

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

More Holy Week Prayers: https://katyandtheword.com/2021/03/24/holy-week-easter-prayers/

Holy Week/Easter Prayers

Ashes: A Holy Week Prayer

Holy Week: Praying Our Way Through (Also good for Palm Sunday)

Palm Sunday: Waiting for the Stones

Maundy Thursday: Washing the Dust, Existential Crises: Love One Another?, Broken for You

At the Table: Not I, Lord

In the Garden of Gethsemane: A Socially Distanced Prayer

Good Friday: Friday is not “Good,Essential Workers at the Cross, Denial and Grace in Crises,

Holy Saturday: Pausing for Grief (Slides Version here) , Living in the In Between, Holy Saturday: A Confession (I didn’t really want more time to do nothing)

Easter: Masks a Prayer, Can You Hear Easter (the Good News), Say Nothing Easter, My God is the God of Emptiness (Empty Tombs)

Masks (are Holy): Ending with Easter

Pentecost: Stuck in a Room

Narrative Lectionary: Luke Lent Cycle Prayers and Resources

Please feel free to use/adapt with credit to Pastor Katy Stenta

Friday isn’t Good

God, I’m raging today against good Friday. Its bad Friday, it’s mistaken Friday, its very, very human Friday.

We humans should never equate abuse and violence with good. Because too often we malign those who are different than us for “good.” Too often we consider police violence “for the greater good.” Too often we glorify those who have weapons as “good guys” and end up glorifying them for Good.

Did you have to die on the Cross God? Probably, because we humans could only see the “good” of violence. Only humans would think Emmet Till dying was worthwhile because it helped to spur the civil rights movement. *

Only humans consider martyrdom something to strive for (how did we even get there, ew!).

We are not a death cult, God, we do not want to make the long count to forty lashes, and we Christians should be the first in line to be against the death penalty, realizing that it is inhumane for us to kill one another.

We should be creating community and stopping abuse at all levels. And I must confess, sometimes we are too scared, or too nice to name and cast out evil.

God, I don’t think Friday will be Good for me, anymore.

Not after a pandemic where so many have died for the “good” of the economy.

Not after a summer where death after death of Black People resulted in a lot of noise, and little change.

Not in a culture where the first thing we experience after reopening is racist attacks and has shootings of AAPI siblings and mass shootings ing general.

Lord, no, Friday isn’t good.

But I’m glad you transformed it. I’m glad you could withstand it. I’m glad your beyond it.

And I hope that someday, violence will no longer be allowed or celebrated, or deemed as necessary for the good.

I hope the sun goes down on this Good Friday, God I hope it ends soon.

And I pray that we let the resurrection sneak up on us, that we can still hear its whispers and that we can, even in the midst of Friday, follow where it leads.

Lord hear my prayer, as I stand, living in the midst of a this terrible, horrible, no good very bad Friday time.

Amen.

*With Credit and Thanks for Rev. Lenny Duncan who challenged if Jesus or black bodies should have to die for us humans to “get it” or be “woke” or to spur us into action.

Feel free to use and adapt with writing credit to Pastor Katy Stenta and theology credit to Rev. Lenny Duncan.

Washing the Dust

Jesus, how beautiful is it that you chose to spend some remaining moments reminding the disciples that they can help each other wash off the dust.

Lord you know, sometimes I’ve tried to shake the dust off my feet, but it is stuck tight. It stains my sole. It stains my soul.

And I know how to wash my own feet. But sometimes i don’t have the energy, to get the water, to bend over, to do the self care.

Sometimes I don’t have the energy to wash.

And there you are–towel in hand, gently taking my feet and dipping them in the water.

You wash away the ashes. You remind me that when I’m having trouble, I can ask for help.

You remind us that we are not alone.

That we should love one another, care for one another, help one another.

So while the ashes of two more mass shootings, racist attacks, abusive trans legislation, and continue news of those who don’t yet have access to vaccines, and over 500,000 siblings who needlessly died.

You lather the soap, and pour the water, and prepare a fresh towel. Even while we are on the dusty road to Jerusalem, which ends in the cross, you make provision for us.

You teach us how to comfort one another on the journey.

And For that I give you Thanks and Praise.

Please fee free to use/adapt with Credit to Pastor Kay Stenta

Essential Workers at the Cross

Who was essential at the cross?

Not Peter or John, Matthew or Mark.

Simon was essential: when Jesus could no longer carry the cross, Simon, a common laborer, with the strength to do the manual labor, the construction, the carrying of an essential item to where it needed to be. Simon was essential.

So were the two criminals who hung by the cross. Worthless and killed for being heretics, these two were essential for having the existential and theological conversation about who was saved and who wasn’t, and when was it too late to be saved.

The Centurion, and the common prison guards, were essential, they were the first to realize Jesus was the Son of God after he died. These workers in prison were essential.

Joseph of Arimathea, was essential. He gave up his own burial place, and risked his own death by the officials, boldly asking Pilate for the body, revealing what he believed and why. Then Joseph and Nicodemus polluted themselves–wrapping the dead body with their own hands, and using Nicodemus own mixed spices to move Jesus to the tomb. These men who put down politics to work with the dead were essential.

The women were essential. The women were sent, because they were thought to be harmless. Women prepared Jesus for the tomb with the wrappings and the spices to hide the bad smell. They entered the grave, where the guards watched–socially distant–to make certain no mischief was done. Women were the worthless but essential workers of the day.

Who was essential at the cross? Who did the work that needed to done? Who carried, cleaned, buried, wept, wrapped and worshipped?

Help us to pray and remember and rejoice in all of the essential workers we pray. Amen.

Pandemic Prayers

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

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

A Prayer for Chaplain-ing an Apocalypse

No Plans, A Prayer

People Shaped Prayers

Aunty God

A Blessing for (Surviving) Today

Omicron Prayer 

Advent Prayer for the World Weary

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

#HolySaturday musings

Saturday is the breath caught, chest aching,

Its the moment when you don’t know if you are going to celebrate or cry

The heartbeat of one in the womb, the phone call with good or bad news, the applications that are awaiting decision.

Saturday is running the race, but not yet knowing who is going to win,

Its crying so much that you can’t recognize the person standing in front of you

Its the why moment.

Why, why, why? Why does this happen? What does this mean? What is the purpose behidn it all.

Saturday is the day of unanswerable questions,

the time of tangled mysteries,

the moment of mindless emotions.

Remember, God gives us that uncertainty, blesses it, and reminds us that we all have that moment of throat-catching, almost-not breathing.

The moment of full humanity,

Because God wants to remind us that our God is the one who catches us by surprise.

Even when we supposedly know what’s going to happen.

Maybe its should be known as Surprising Saturday Instead.

 

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.

#Selah #violence and #thecross

I love the word Selah, the untranslatable cry to God. We have guesses, but we don’t know exactly what it means

For me it translates into the prayer that we don’t know how to pray

Selah

Its the cry out on Maundy Thursday when Jesus is worried about something that we cannot yet conceive, Selah

The cry when the first Muslim judge- Sheila Abdus-Salaam-is found dead, the domestic murder of a teacher-Karen Smith-and her student-Jonathan Martinez-registers as almost normal and when an Asian man-Dr. David Dao–is assaulted to give up his airline seat. Selah.

The cry when it is revealed that one of your friends will betray your teacher, Christ. When the fellowship is still intact, but Friday is coming. Selah

The cry when your leader bombs not one but two countries in the same Fortnight. Selah

The cry when Friday is coming, and you wish this cup can be taken from your lips, but you know it can’t be, so you pray at Gethsemane, and Friday still comes. Selah.

Drought in Africa, Dirty water in Flint, Trans Man outed by a Gay Competitor, Black Lives Still Matter, Missing Teens of Color some of these prayers never seem to end. Selah.

“There’s usually a point in Holy Week when I inform God that I’m really not sure humanity was worth all that.
We’ve reached it.”-@revlucymeg. Selah.

The violence that makes up the Cross is present, its real, its stark and needs to be mourned. Selah.

Selah.

Selah.

 

 

Maundy Thursday/Last Supper Lenten Links of Prayer for Narrative Lectionary

Jesus.jpegImage info (originally found in another language)

Invitation to Serve by Rev Amy Fetterman

Feel free to use/edit. Credit to the original author (i.e. based on prayer/prayers written by Rev Amy Fetterman) appreciated.

Luke 22:1-27 and Psalm 34:8-10 or Psalm 34:8

Call to Worship

The One who serves has set the table,

And eagerly desires that we join him here.  

As we seek and find the Lord in this joyful feast,

We shall taste and see that the Lord is good.

Prayer of Confession

As Jesus prepares a feast for us, let us prepare our hearts to receive his word. Let us offer our confession to God and before one another. Let us pray:

God of bread and vine, you redeem us from all sin. Yet, we forget that in you we find our refuge. We live into our fear rather than our faith. We strive to be great rather than follow in your servant steps. In our words, our actions, and our thoughts, we betray you. Deliver us from our fears, strengthen our hearts, and hear our cries, we pray… (silent confession followed by singing a Kyrie of your choice)

Assurance of Pardon

Lord, have mercy, Christ, have mercy, Lord, have mercy, we pray.

Though we may turn our faces away from God, God never turns away from us. The One who prepares a place for us at the table is the same One who forgives us our sins. Friends, believe the good news: in Jesus Christ, we are forgiven! Thanks be to God. Amen.

Communion Prayer

The Lord be with you. And also with you.

Look to the Lord, We seek the Lord with our whole hearts.

Let us bless the Lord as we come to the table, Our souls praise God!

Our souls praise you, O God, for you created the heavens and the earth, all that is seen and unseen. You coaxed forth light and life where before there was only dark and nothingness. You are the source of the living water we seek. We rejoice that we have been made in your image, that the very breath we breathe comes from your Holy Spirit.

You tell us that those who seek you shall lack no good thing. When we turn away from you and towards the forces of hunger and want, you do not give up on us. You call out to us through the voices of the prophets and the poets. You come to us through the person of the Son. Humbled by your great love for us, we join our voices with the saints across the ages, ever singing:

Holy, Holy, holy Lord, God of power and might,

Heaven and earth are full of your glory.

Hosanna in the highest.

Blessed is the One who comes in the name of the Lord.

Hosanna in the highest.

Blessed is Jesus the Christ, the one who came to us as a vulnerable child.

Blessed is Jesus the Christ, who taught and healed us, who laughed and wept with us, who fed us and gave us living water.

Blessed is Jesus the Christ, who gathered with his disciples, including the one who would deny him and the one who would betray him, to celebrate the Passover feast.

Blessed is Jesus the Christ, who broke the bread and shared the cup, who gave us this meal as a lasting remembrance and joyful celebration.

Blessed is Jesus the Christ, who gave himself to us and for us and invites us to live into the great mystery of faith:

Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.

Pour out your Holy Spirit upon these gifts of bread and vine, we pray, O God. As we eat this bread may we remember your great love for all. As we drink from this cup may we be strengthened in our covenant with you. So nourished and so nurtured, may we go forth from this table with servant hearts and hands. By your Spirit, may we be made one, the body of Christ for the world.

We offer all of these prayers in the name of the Bread of Life, our Savior, who taught us to pray, saying: Our Father.

Offering Prayer/Prayer of Dedication

Holy God, you have shown us that to be great is to serve. We offer our tithes and offerings, the gifts of our hearts and hands, as our commitment to join with you in service. May all we do and say further the good work of your Kingdom until you come again. Amen.

More Narrative Lectionary Lenten Themed Prayers  

Lady Jabberwocky

Write with Heart

A Pastor's Heart

Thoughts on Life and Faith

10:00 am Worship @NCPC

Won't You Be Our Neighbor

Martha Spong

Clergy Coach

r e F o c u s

a ministry for transition

Church Set Free

Love is the answer - now what's your question?

Living Contemplatively

Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation

PNEUMYTHOLOGY

ROBERT LAMBERT JONES III

A Spirit Filled Life

Seeing the Sacred in the Everyday

Improvisations

thinking outloud online

G-Free Rev

Knittin' and Preachin'

Infinite Windows

Meditations on faith and art

Mom Meets Blog

Managing motherhood, midlife and a blog

This Everyday Holy

Ordinary Living in the Lectionary