Empty Handed Prayer

Ok God,

You know that sometimes,

Ok let’s be honest,

All too often,

My hands are outstretched!

Not because I’m throwing my hands up in praise

but rather

because they feel WAY too empty.

And I can’t find a way to help–

So I pray.

So here I am Sweet Jesus,

In the middle of a veritable plague,

on the edge of what could be World War 3,

while dictators invade innocent nations,

while families are treatened to be ripped apart

for supporting and loving and affirming

your God imaged trans and lesbian and gay and nonbinary children

and black and brown people are still killed without warrant or warrants

and books are being banned and burned

and gun violence is up everywhere

and home prices are through the roof–

Is this how it felt Jesus, when you were born

in the middle of occupied Jerusalem

Is this how the disciples felt

when they asked you the same questions

over and over (and over) again.

Did you have compassion for them,

because you knew their questions were a form of prayer?

God why is this happening?

How do we stop it?

Why do we fall into these patterns of evil again and again.

Hosanna! Save us! Help us!

God, as we enter this lonely time time of Lent,

Help me to walk with you, I pray.

because, God knows,

You know,

I at least don’t want to walk it alone.

And so here I am,

with an empty handed prayer,

knowing that I’m asking for something to do

and what you ask will not be easy…

but I choose to pray anyway,

Because I don’t want to be empty handed anymore!

Lord hear my prayer,

Amen.

Amen.

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

With thanks to @Thomaslhorrocks for the inspirational tweet

#Relentless #oppress #Slatespeak

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O how it hurts me that Christianity is used for a tool of oppression. In the grand pantheon of ways to be Christian, I figure you and God are working it out.

Unless you are using the Gospel to preach hate or oppress someone, because that right there people, is heresy. Heresy is using the Gospel for the opposite of its purpose.

Hate instead of love and Oppression instead of freedom are pretty much it.

But it hurts, because I benefit from oppression. I’m white and I have to deal with my whiteness. I’m cis-hetereo and I have to deal everyday with the fact that my so-called normalcy gives me an advantage.

And Jesus isn’t about the normal people. The more we normalize Christianity, the more we make it about power. In a slatespeak discussion a couple of weeks ago, my colleagues mused that Imperialism is when we are mistakenly convinced that God only talks to those in power.

Heresy, again I cry heresy.

I cry heresy to the core of my soul, but Christianity has been entrenched and tied to Power forever. Only Christ can save it. Only Christ can save us.

Because, we are the nation “trumpeting our righteousness”, even as we sin. We only fast “to quarrel and fight”

So this is the FAST that I choose

to loose the bonds of injustice–against the Trans, Muslim, Autistic, Lesbian & Gay, Deaf, Jewish, Sikh,  Genderqueer, Blind, People of Color, Mentally Ill, Asexual, the poor and the children.

To undo the thongs of the yoke of the overworked, the under appreciated, the homeless, the victims of violence, the helpless, the depressed, the lonesome

To Let the oppressed go free and to break every yoke.

The way to do this is to share my bread with the hungry, to bring the homeless poor into my own house and cover the naked.

water, food, shelter, medical care, clothing, treating each other as human beings

water, food, shelter, medical care, clothing, treating each other as human beings

water, food, shelter, medical care, clothing, treating each other as human beings

the most basic and essential of prayers for all peoples

To somehow empower without enabling, to be gracious in an unjust world and to magnify those voices that society tries to erase, ignore or unnamed.

For then the light shall break forth like the daw, and healing shall spring up quickly.

Heal us, break us our from our own heresies, entrench us instead in love.

 

http://bible.oremus.org/?passage=Isaiah+58

 

holy-night

Shannon A Thompson

Author. Speaker. Librarian.

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