Today I think that the most prescient thing God ever did was to hang their rainbow in the sky.
God knew what God was doing when they hung up the bow after the storms
Knowing that we needed the reminder that every storm runs out of rain–as Maya Angelou put it.
Knowing that it would be claimed and expanded by all of God’s queer children, proclaiming that love is love is love is love and that God created a multiplicities of genders and sexualities–just like God created a rainbow with thousands upon thousands of hues and in-betweens.
We need rainbows, because God knew
Before sociological studies and microscopic and macroscopic science; before we did our Genesis job of naming all of the people, places and things of the world, you knew that very naming would make us create divisions.
Before we made elaborate charts to discover and explicate the mystery of the Trinity, God, you knew
You knew how much we need rainbows
You knew racism would be a stumbling block of sin,
that normalcy is a illusion of bigotry
that being neurotypical or not is a spectrum….which is another word for rainbow
and that gray can beautiful color, and sometimes we sit in the gray–
God I always imagine that the Trinity is gray, in between and a part of the rainbow world you created.
And God, you knew that you, the Almighty and Many Breasted God needed to symbolically and in all practicalities disarm Godself.
Promising never to send natural disasters as punishment.
And putting the most powerful weapon of the time, the equivalent of a gun, up. Forever.
Because if God can disarm Godself, then it is clear what we should do.
In the midst of horrific gun violence in the US, the state imbued violence in the United States and Colombia, and in the midst of border wars in Armenia-Azerbaijan, climate asylum and violence in Syria, and the oppression and apartheid conditions in Gaza.
God you know we need to figure out how to live in concert and beauty in rainbows–and how to first and foremost disarm ourselves as you did thousands of years ago.
Thousands of years ago.
God, thank you for your prescience.
And for all the rainbows
And for giving us the time.
And the promises within the rainbow, that it won’t always be like this.
Help us embody your rainbow.
Help us to honor your rainbow.
Fill us with rainbows I pray.
Feel free to Share/Adapt/Use this prayer with Credit to Pastor Katy Stenta
Come, Let us learn the ways of God, and walk the paths of Jesus
In the days to come, God’s house will sit on a mountain and all nations shall stream to it. And God will arbitrate peace for us.
Come let us worship the Prince of Peace
Call to Worship
We are one in the Spirit
Not because we are all the same, but because God creates enough multitudes to include all identities
God calls every single person to God’s sanctuary
Come, let us practice peace with the Lord
Prayer of Confession: God, I confess that I do not always know what it means to be a Christian. Sometimes I wonder if I have enough faith, or have done enough to be Christian. You remind us that we are all unique and beloved in your eyes. That you see who we truly are, warts and all, and welcome us home. You know our essence, and call us each beloved child of God. Remind us as many times as we need to know we pray. Amen. (unison)(Silent Confession) Amen
Prayer of Confession: God, somedays I am tired of trying to figure myself out. Am I male or female? Am I Christian or not? Am I cis or straight of queer or trans? How can I know who I really am? And I confess that if I’m white, I’m able to forget it and if I’m not I have to remember it every single day. Sometimes, it does not feel safe to fully occupy my identity. And then I remember how Paul, in his clumsy way, tells us that in Christ there isn’t male or female, Greek or Jew, because God is not binary, God contains multitudes of belovedness. Help me to rest in God’s rainbow of love I pray.
Assurance of Pardon: God’s love is from everlasting to everlasting. Hear the good news: In Jesus Christ we are forgiven. Amen.
Assurance of Pardon: God promises to be our God, and that we will be God’s people, and this is God’s Covenant of Love. We know the truth and can proclaim it to one another: in Jesus Christ we are Forgiven. Amen.
Prayer of Dedication: God, may we feel the deep peace. The peace that comes in the stillness of silence, and the peace that comes from the chatter among friends. Let us hear the peace of the rain and the peace found in sunshine. Grant us the gift to experience this peace we pray. Amen.
Feel free to use/adapt with credit to Pastor Katy Stenta
I’m heartbroken by so many things, but I’m mad about the state sanctioned murder of yet another black and brown person.
“Thou shalt not kill” you say. But they say “He had a gun, he looked older, she was suspicious.”
And the streets run with blood, too often the blood of children.
I’m so angry that white terrorists shoot up towns and schools and workplaces and grocery stores and are arrested alive again, and again.
But Black skin is seen as more dangerous than a gun.
I’m so scared of those people who thinking they are keeping us safe: white men and women, cops, and especially white cops.
It makes me think of my friends in college–all 4 of whom were beaten by their father, it makes me think the 3 sisters all who were raped by him throughout their lives, and how they all kept it a secret from each other because of the shame of it. They were hurt by their own father, a cop.
God why is it that we cannot take weapons from abusive individuals? Why is their right to remain armed deemed more important?
Why does their need for violent safety trump my need for peaceful safety?
Why do the police always win?
God I’m angry, and I’m going to stay angry. Because the lack of justice burns my soul. It makes me hunger for a different land, a different way, a different power structure.
God I must confess over and over again Racism is killing us, all of us.
And it’s tricky and can make White People feel safe, when we too are dying. We commit suicide and deal with depression and toxicity all because we are blind and refuse to be healed.
Curse You White Fragility, Male Fragility and American so called Patriotism.
Our communities, economies and peace is dying each and every time one of our Black Siblings die.
Black Lives Matter.
Our families, our relationships, our very understanding of time iteslf suffers whenever a Brown sibling is abused and killed.
Stop Asian Hate, No Human Being is Illegal, Bad Theology Kills.
How can we stop the killing?
Is this how it felt, Lord when your children suffered slavery in Egypt?
Did Jesus weep in Jerusalem because he saw the Jews and the Gentiles and the Samaritans and the Essenes killing each other to win the prize of peace, never understanding that peace can’t be forced or taken or violently enforced.
Is this why you disarmed Your very own Godself? Hanging your Bow in the sky? And did you foresee the rainbow as a sign of acceptance, celebration, inclusion and peace for our queer siblings even as our Trans siblings of color die violently every week in the United States?
Are you angry God? You must be, because I am so angry.
God these are your children, and I am going to stay angry, until things change.
I’ll be here.
and Working, Protesting, Voting, Calling Representatives, Giving out Food and Water, and Living Out the Anti-Racist Journey and Work.
And I Know I’ll Still
Even After All That
And it comforts me to know, that you, God, are angry too.
Thank you for this anger Lord.
Please feel free to use/share/adapt the prayer with credit to Pastor Katy Stenta. Please credit Lady Jane Illustrations and Black Liturgies for the the apropos and inspirational images.
Call to Worship:
Happy are those who take refuge in God
Serve the Lord with fear and trembling and kiss his feet
The nations conspire in vain, for our Lord is God, and God will break ancient schemes
Come let us worship the Lord our God.
Hear the Good News; The Kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed.
The smallest of seeds, but it has grown into the greatest of shrubs.
See all the air come and make nests in its branches
Come, let us come home and nest with God.
Call to Worship:
I shall never be afraid
God is my rock, God is my salvation
Whom shall I fear?
Why should I run, no one can harm me, I shall overcome: come let us proclaim the truth
God is my rock.
Invitation to Confess: Like a loving parent, God awaits us with open arms to hear our troubles and soothe our sorrows. Come let us confess to the Lord
Prayer of Confession: Lord, sometimes I feel like I have nowhere to run to. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed, and that I have no one to turn to. Sometimes I just want to run away. So I ignore things, or I snap at life, or I feel hopelessness overwhelm me. Remind me that you are always present, that I can turn to you with anything. Strengthen me with your love I pray. Amen.
Prayer of Confession: I confess that I don’t feel like a child of God today. I see all of my cracks and mistakes, and have trouble focusing on the good. How can I go home broken? But then you remind me, if I’m broken, how can I not go home? Help me to come to you so I might bathe in your good food, soft beds and loving hospitality and be restored, I pray.
Assurance of Pardon. God’s love is from everlasting to everlasting. God does not hold grudges, but instead loves us when time are good and when times are bad. Reassure one another with the truth: In Jesus Christ we are forgiven.
Assurance of Pardon: When the walls are tumbling down, God remains our rock and salvation, and so we can hang onto the truth: In Jesus Christ we are forgiven.
Eucharist Prayer: God, bless this food with thanksgiving and hope. Remind us that the one who sent his only son to teach us and bless us and feed us, will not turn us away from the table. When asked how it is we are to care for one another, Jesus answered feed me sheep, feed my sheep, feed my sheep. Let this be the celebration meal to fill our hearts and soothe our souls. Send your Holy Spirit down on these elements so that we might take on the new day with energy, intelligence, imagination and hope, we pray in your loving son Jesus Christ’s name. Amen.
Here I am Lord
Somebody’s Knocking At Your Door
Battle Hymn of the Republic
Give Thanks with a Grateful Heart
God Folded the Mountains Out of Rock
Rock of the Ages
With Children: Runaway Bunny, Play Hide and Seek and talk about how God finds you, Play Eye Spy: Talk about how God keeps track of you and how you keep an eye out for God, Plant seeds (especially mustard seeds), Make a Gratitude paper chain of all the things you are grateful for (can continue for many weeks), Wise Man builds his house on the rock Song, Build a tower and discuss the importance of salvation/God as your rock. Pairs well with Prodigal Son, Father Abraham had man sons Song
Our God is the God of Peace, let us worship his holy name
How do we know this is God’ time?
There is a time for everything
Even in such a time as this?
Whatever God does endures forever, Come let us watch for God together
Prayer of Confession: Dear God, we confess that we get so busy that we forget. We forget to look for God and we forget to take time to practice peace. Forgive God, we pray. Amean
God of Peace, we have to admit are not a people of peace. We are more into plucking up than planting. We see more times to tear than times to sew. We pray that you teach us more about the time for peace.
Lord God, some days we have nothing but bad timing. Whatever we do is wrong and whatever we say is wrong, and we can’t find the right timing. Help us, we pray. Help us when we are fumbling for the right time. Help us when we feel so full of wrong that peace seems impossible. Gift us with your presence and fill us with your love and peace we pray.
Assurance of Pardon: Our God will give us peace beyond understanding, thus in that promise we can know the truth. In Jesus Christ we are forgiven.
Prayer of Dedication/Closing Prayer: Send us into your world as a people of Peace we pray. Amen
God, grant us enough hope that we can continue to pursue peace, we pray. Amen.
Prayer of Confession: Lamb of God, we confess that we do not always do peace well. We confess that we are not always the instruments of the kingdom. Reshape us, Lord. Mold us from swords into plowshares, makes us the tools of your peace through the planting of seedlings of hope, joy and love where ever we go, heal our hearts so we might in turn bring healing to others we pray… (Silent Prayer)…Amen
Martin Luther King, Jr. famously said that “Peace is not the absence of war but the presence of justice.” Our world changes when justice prevails. When we love one another — no matter who they are — justice and peace become part of our reality. When we work for justice and equality we are fully living into the love we are commanded to show one to the other by Jesus.”