14, A Prayer

14 18 20 21
God?!!???
When will the
USA
countdown
Enough
Wisps of childhood
Enough gasps of Black People
Enough cries of Brown People
Enough endangerment of Whot people
For thoughts to turn into flipped tables?
And prayers to turn into peace beyond understanding?
How Long Lord?
I’m tired of this prayer, prayed on behalf of those who no longer pray
Melt our hearts God, move us beyond what we are—to doing what we need to do to bring peace.
No more thoughts and prayers—policies ans protests. Times 14. 18 20 21
Screw it. Times 14,000 18,000 20,000 21,000
In the name of Jesus Christ. We pray.

Amen

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

Fiercely Listening, a prayer

God

sometimes I think about

how much of my job

is listening to those

who are hurt

Sometimes I pray about

all those without ears to hear

Those who are quick to judge

or center themselves

or say, if they had just…

So…

I think about how often Jesus just sat

and listened, really listened

and validated people’s pain,

and then called them by name.

Sometimes I think about

how much of the community’s job

is listening,

Fiercely listening to those

who are unheard, or drowned out our ignored

Fiercely listening

who are hurt,

without judgement

or agenda

…just listening fiercely

to those who have been

especially hurt

and then I

try to practice

that fierce listening

taking to heart

the cries of injustice

opening my ears to hear

and my heart to be melted

Help me me to do my job I pray.

Amen.

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

Teaching No More War, A Prayer

God,

Today I am thinking about how much

We humans have to devalue one another to go to war.

God, when I think of all of the lying that war involves.

Of all the hate and dehumanizing.

It chokes in my throat, and makes it hard for me to breathe.

Was this what it was like for the Hebrews,

walking in the desert,

homeless,

landless,

without water

immigrants.

Is this why you admonished them never to forget

that they were victims of war?

Is this why you promised them a land of milk and honey?

Does this symbolize a land where all people are valued as humans.

Does the promised land signify a place

where Terfs lies about trans individuals are muted

so we do not even hear their voices?

Is this a place where the bullying that

the right honorable judge,

and so many minorities had to stand by

and just take

Is not only unacceptable

but laughable.

If that is the Kingdom,

God–sign me up.

If that is peace,

I want to be there yesterday.

Teach us the ways of war no more, Lord.

Help us to pray for our enemies in such a way,

in such a way that we do NOT dehumanize one another.

Please teach us God.

we pray.

Amen.

Feel Free to Use/Adapt/Share with Credit to Pastor Katy Stenta

Image: https://i.pinimg.com/originals/ea/31/cd/ea31cd3b48ced7e685e9a03d959cd68b.jpg

God, a prayer

God,
I’m tired
Of praying
For peace.

God,
I’m tired
Of praying.

God,
I’m tired.

God.

Amen.

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

Peace Makers-A Prayer

Blessed are the peacemakers

The ones who craft safety and sanctuary,

so that parents can read to children in their own beds at home,

instead of hiding in bunkers.

Blessed are the peacemakers, who stand up to bullies

for they value lives over money–

Flipping tables along the way…

and life over the color of ones skin or religion

knowing that God does not say “only let the white Christian people in”

But instead says “It is your job, always, without fail, to care for refugees, for you were once a refugee people.”

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they do not hide from conflict

but face it, head on, and name the injustices, in voices clear and strong.

God bless the makers of peace–who reach into their pockets

and pull together whatever bits and pieces they have on them,

and commit to make peace with whatever they have on them at the moment.

They are never silent in oppression,

They ask the right questions like “What happened here?” and “Let the one without sin throw the first stone?”

they never worry about inconveniences or being uncomfortable,

but choose to act out of the giving of their very selves–to make peace.

God bless the peace makers,

The rainbow promise keepers, the food-givers, the stranger welcomers, the least of these carers. God bless them, for theirs is the Kingdom.

And while you’re at it, God, help us to pay attention, so we too may be makers of peace we pray.

Amen.

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

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

Advent Candles Year 4 Narrative Lectionary

Advent Candle Suggestion: In our Church we do Candles as our Children’s Time, We have our small collection of children light the candles youngest to eldest (whoever is there), those who haven’t gone go first. It is impromptu, not planned. It saves on having to schedule and ensures that the candles are lit and we spend children’s time explaining the meaning of the candle and how it relates the story of the week. If you don’t have children, I bet you could do this with your deacons as well.

Week 1: Hope/Prophesy

God you whisper to us, when we dare not hope suggesting to us the impossible

Mortal do you think these bones can live?

God it is in your multitude of knowledge, that we say the answer back to you, you know

Speak hope to the bones

We will speak hope together

Come let us speak the hope of the Holy Spirit today, and Live!

Lighting Hymns: Live Into Hope, Taize: Bless the Lord my Soul, Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence (v. 1)

Week 2: Peace/Purpose

God promises that all those who thirsts will drink, all those who hunger will be fed

Come, the banquet is set, all are invited

Truly peace shall reign, for everyone shall have enough

Come, and listen, so that you may live. I will make you an everlasting covenant

Who wants to taste and See the Lord?

Come, let us practice this peace today and everyday

Lighting Hymns: Comfort Comfort You My People, Taize Nada the Turbe, O Come O Come Emmanuel v. 3, God of Peace (to the tune of Silent Night)

Week 3: Joy/God’s Word

God we are ready for your Word

The Word was with God, and the Word was God

Your joy shines through troubles, more than just happiness, God’s Word is life sustaining Joy!

All things come to being through God, and without God not one thing came into being.

Each of us have a spark of that joy within us!

Come let us renew our joy with God!

Hymns: O Come O Come Emmanuel v. 2, Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence v. 2 & 3, Joy to the World Taize: The Kingdom of God, O Come All Ye Faithful

Week 4: Love/Good News

Hymns: The First Nowell, What Child is This

God we are thankful you unleashed your love into the world

Good News has come

There is nothing like the love of God

Filling the world with good news

Reminding us that hope, joy and peace are possible, fulfilling the promises of the covenant

Come let us whisper that God is coming soon!

Hymn Suggestions: It Came Upon a Midnight Clear, Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence v. 1 & 4, Come Thou Long Expected Jesus v 3 & 4, O Love that Wilt Not Let Me Go, Of the Father’s Love Begotten, Taize: Magnificat

Christmas

All is well, Christ is here

Hear the Good News of Great Joy.

Christ has come, the baby is here!

Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Guardian, the Heir of Peace!

Come let us worship the Lord

Glory to God, One Earth Peace, and Goodwill towards humankind!

More Advent Resources: Year 4

If you find these resources useful please consider contributing to my Doctorate in Ministry in Creative Writing!

Jeremiah 29:1, 4-14

John 14:27

Call to Worship

Our God is the God of Resurrection

God will never leave us

Our God is the God of peace

Come let us worship God!

Prayer of Confession: God we confess that sometimes your instructions confuse us. You tell us both to live our lives and to look towards heaven. You know we are only human, so it is difficult for us to do both at the same time. Forgive us when we get distracted or confuse. Remind us that practicing hope, and peace here on earth is worth it. And help us when we go astray, we pray. Amen.

Assurance of Pardon: God’s love is from everlasting to everlasting, know the truth in your heart: In Jesus Christ we are forgiven.

Prayer of the Day/Dedication: God it is a good thing you are the Prince of peace, and that you leave pieces of it for us to follow, because we definitely need help on that. Guide us to your peace today and everyday we pray. Amen.

Hymns: Take My Life, My Hope is Built on Nothing Less, O For a Closer Walk with God, Abide with Me, Lord Make Us Servants of Your Peace

Children: God promises peace. Ask the children to imagine what peace is like–help them to imagine peace as creativity not just silence or stillness. Discuss how we might practice peace now.

If you find these resources useful please consider contributing to my Doctorate in Ministry in Creative Writing!

More Narrative Lectionary Year 4

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

Shannon A Thompson

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