Prescient God: Rainbows & Trinities

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.

Never.

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.

Amen.

rainbow | National Geographic Society
Image

Feel free to Share/Adapt/Use this prayer with Credit to Pastor Katy Stenta

One in Christ

Galatians 3:1-9, 23-29

Luke 1:68-79

Consider: Isaiah 2:1-4

Call to Worship 

Come Let us go to the house of the Lord

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 Mad and that’s not Going to Change: Prayer

@Black Liturgies [Image of Daunte Write in a Red Baseball Cap with the words: “They dress the wounds of my people, as though it were no serious. saying ‘Peace, peace.’ when there is no peace. Jeremiah 6. Watermarked from @BlackLiturgies]

God, I am so mad.

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.

Lady Jane Illustration [Digital Illustration of a person with flowing green hair, a dark grey jacket, gold hoop earrings and nose ring, trans flag pin, and green shirt. They are clutching their face with their hands. Behind them are pink flowers blooming. The text reads, ‘policing doesn’t keep us safe’]

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.

Praying

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

Be Angry.

And it comforts me to know, that you, God, are angry too.

Thank you for this anger Lord.

Amen.

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.

Election Prayer: Counting and Peace

Lord, help us during this time of anxiety and illness and woe to pursue peace.

Peace is not the quiet, stilled silence of two different sides, but the active and creative power that you put into being when you created the world.

God, you know it’s funny that you’ve made us to be counting beings.

When I am anxious at night, I count sheep, sometimes I count steps or play counting games to distract myself.

We’ve even been counting off scripture at worship: reading “together” at home when I hold up my fingers 1-10.

And sometimes we advise each other to count our blessings when things look their bleakest.

When Abraham was worried about his legacy, God advised him to count the grains of sand, or to count the stars.

When my son, who has autism, is anxious he counts off the schedule on your fingers.

One finger: go to the store, second finger: go to the bank, third finger: go to the blue house (home) and play iPad.

All will be well as long as he ends up home playing iPad.

God, I am aware that we are counting first: vote, second: wait (and wait and wait) for the results, third: accept the results and peacefully pass power, fourth: so we can all end up safe at home.

Funny how we are counting, each and every vote to pursue peace. Funny, and not so funny, because it fits so well.

Help us to count, God.

Help us count every single vote. Help us count as an act of peace.

Help us to count each and every vote. Help us to count each and every person as a child of God. Help us to count the steps of peace.

One

Two

Three

One Lord and Savior, Two Natures, Three Persons

One breath out, Two short breaths out, On Three we sigh together

(Just to be clear) One breath out, Two short breaths out, On Three we sigh together

One, Two, Three. Phew.

Amen.

Seeds of Prayer: Extended Advent Candle Liturgy (with two additional/optional candles

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

About Me: My Story & My Writing

If you would like a word copy of this document (which is probably easier to format) just email katyandtheword at gmail with the subject line advent and I will be happy to send you a copy

Promise, Thanksgiving, Hope, Peace, Joy, Love, Christ

Nov 22, 2020 Promise Candle: 

Lord God we give thanks for your covenant

We are thankful that you promise to come again

Just as God freed the Hebrews from Egypt

We remember how faithful God was to Abraham and Sarah, 

Moses and Miriam, and Hannah and Eli

Come let us know God, through God’s promises

We live into your promises, Loving God

Light the Promise Candle

God, we are thankful that every year

You fulfill your promise and become particularly present

every Sunday, every prayer, every gathering in your name,

You are there. You show your love in baptism and communion,

and you reveal your presence through advent and Christmas.

Help us to live into your promises,

every time we wait for Jesus,

we pray. Amen.

Optional Hymns: Great is Thy Faithfulness, Be Thou My Vision, God of the Sparrow, God of the Ages, Whose Almighty Hand, Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise

Nov 29, 2020 Thanksgiving Candle:

Lord we give thanks for your protection and gifts

Glory to be to God, who has filled the world with enough for everyone

When we are in trouble, we have God to pray to

God help us to trust in God

Let us proclaim the good news, God is abundant and gracious

We live into thanksgiving, Loving God

Light the Promise Candle

God,

As we look at all the bounties of the earth,

teach us how to give the sacrifice of praise.

For you have created us this way

so that the more we give thanks

the better human beings we are.

Help us to live into Thanksgiving,

every time we wait for Jesus,

we pray. Amen. 

Optional Hymns: For the Fruit of All Creation, Let All Things Now Living, We Gather Together, Praise God, from Whom All Blessings Flow

Dec 6, 2020 Hope Candle: (based on Joel 2)

Lord, even now you are calling to us

You promise the trumpet will sound, all wrongs will be right!

We will call the assembly in hope, one way or another we will connect and gather together

We are the congregation: the aged, the children, the infants. We are the people of God

God says, fear not, for I will fill you with my spirit. Live into Hope.

We live into hope, loving God.

Light the Hope Candle

Prayer: Lord, 

in the midst of suffering

and death, remind us 

that love is worth

the cost of hope. 

Teach us to 

enact the world

we hope for we pray.

Help us to live into Hope

every time we wait for Jesus, 

we pray. Amen. 

Optional Hymns: Sing O Come, O Come, Emmanuel v. 1, Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence v. 1, Live Into Hope, 

Peace Candle: Peace: (based on Isaiah 61:1-4)

Lord, here is the hope!  You have sent us to proclaim the good news to the oppressed, 

We are all called to to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives 

Let us proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. 

You comfort all who mourn, and give us the mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit. 

You promise to repair the ruins! Live into peace.

We live into Peace, Loving God!

Light the Peace Candle

Prayer: Jesus

as we see fighting

and lies and hatred.

Show us peace, 

not as a passive thing

but as the power to 

acknowledge each and

every creature’s mutual worth

Help us to live into Peace 

every time we wait for Jesus,

we pray. Amen

Optional Hymns: Sing O Come, O Come, Emmanuel v. 3, Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence v. 3 Comfort, Comfort You My People or A Place at the Table, Blest Be the Tie That Binds

Dec 13, 2020 Joy Candle: (based on Luke 1:46-56 which is opt for next week)

Lord God this is the time to magnify the Lord

My spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant

We are called to see how God has brought down the powerful from their thrones

We need to look and acknowledge and proclaim with joy that it is God who lifts up the lowly

God’s promises are forever! This is the day that the Lord has made! Let us rejoice and be glad in it!
We live into Joy, Loving God. 

Prayer: Holy Spirit,

as we feel the stirrings of Joy

that Jesus Christ is a part of our lives.

Remind us that Jesus

came to help all people

from generation to generation.

Help us to share the Joy it is

to fill every sing person who hungers

with good things. 

Help us to live into Joy 

every time we wait for Jesus,

we pray. Amen.

Optional Hymns: O Come, O Come Emmanuel v. 2, Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence v. 2, Come, Ye Faithful, Raise the Strain

Dec 20, 2020 Love Candle: 

God, we sing glory to God in the highest, for you embody love

You take on human flesh, out of love for us

Truly, who embodies love like Jesus?

He has come to teach and to pray, to heal and to disciple, to live and to breathe with us.

Born in a manger, full of hope, peace and joy, that is our Savior, Jesus Christ.

We Live into Love, Loving God

God of Bounty,

We know that you are synonymous with love

To speak of God is to speak of love, 

and to speak of love is to speak of God.

Teach us what love really is: 

Embodying hope and peace and joy all at once. 

Help us to live into Love 

every time we wait for Jesus, 

we pray Amen. 

Optional Hymns: O Come, O Come Emmanuel v. 1 Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silent v. 3 and/or 4, They will Know we are Christians by Our Love

Dec 24/25, 2020 Christ Candle: 

Let our Soul magnify the Lord

We rejoice in God our savior

God is with us, from generation to generation

Look at what the Mighty One has done for us

God fills the hungry with good things, brings up the lowly, and brings done the powerful

We live into the discipleship of Jesus Christ, Loving God

Light the Christ Candle

Prayer:

Lord God, we know that Jesus is born

Born of Hope, Peace, Joy and Love,

Christ is coming, 

Touch us with your presence we pray.

Help us to live into discipleship

and to see Jesus,

we pray Amen. 

Optional Hymns: What Child is This?, The First Nowell, Infant Holy, Infant Lowly

About Me: My Story & My Writing

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

Advent Narrative Lectionary: Dec 9th Esther

Advent Candles Liturgy with Taize & O Come, O Come Emmanuel

Scripture

Esther 4:1-17

 Matthew 5:13-16

Ecclesiastes 3

Psalm 131

Revelation 22

Call to Worship

Lord give us peace

Draw us to you God

Our hope is in the Lord

From this time on and forevermore

Light us with your love God

Come let us worship the king of Peace 

 

What do we hope for?

We hope for peace at such a time as this.

Who is our God?

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.

Food for Thought

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Hymns

Advent Hymn to Silent Night: Good of Peace and Away in the Manger: God the Weaver

Sunday School Ideas: Draw times of Day, Create an Advent Calendar and talk about Time, Brainstorm acts of Peace

 

#peace and #advent #prayer

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 K…

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.”

Because you can’t go wrong with MLKJ