A Different kind of Rest

God, I wonder what it was like,

when David was king and pondered an enforced rest.

David, who had trauma in his family and then perpetuated trauma on his friend, and raped a woman.

David, who dealt with the physical pain of a sexually transmitted disease that roiled him for years.

God, how stretched was David, when he prayed for a rest that would not let him go.

When David harkened back to simpler times, and longed, not even to be a shepherd again, but to instead be the sheep.

David, reimagines rest as something to be protected, with a staff and a rod.

David sees true rest as being able to let go of his enemies, and eat and drink without having to worry about being attacked.

David, who was so privileged and powerful needed rest.

How much more do we need rest after the pandemic.

How much more do our Black and Brown siblings need the space to rest, and the time to reinvent what rest and rejuvenation looks like?

How much more do our queer siblings, need sabbath?

How much more do our beloved trans* individuals need sanctuary?

Hustling is not going to cut it anymore. You can’t out hustle a pandemic or trauma or racism or bigotry.

God, drive those who need to, down to the cool waters.

Chase them down with goodness and mercy.

And remind us, that Sabbath, like blessings, is not pie. There is enough to go around. We need to create space for rest with one another.

Help us to create a culture of Sabbath, I pray.

Amen.

Again I have to give theological credit to @TheNapMinistry and Nap Bishop Tricia Hersey for their continually revolutionary take on rest. https://linktr.ee/thenapministry

Please share/adapt/use with Theological Credit to “The Nap Ministry” writing credit to Pastor Katy Stenta

Maundy Thursday Communion Worship

All: The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not Want

So Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and prepare the Passover meal for us that we may eat it.” They asked him, “Where do you want us to make preparations for it?” “Listen,” he said to them, “when you have entered the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you; follow him into the house he enters. Luke 22:8-10

All: Even though I walk through the Valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil, for you are with me. Your rod and your staff—they comfort me.

And speak to the owner of the house. ‘The teacher asks you, “Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?”’ He will show you a large room upstairs, already furnished. Make preparations for us there.” So they went and found everything as he had told them; and they prepared the Passover meal. Luke 22:11-13

All: You prepare a table before me, in the presence of my enemies 

When the hour came, he took his place at the table, and the apostles with him. He said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I tell you, I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” Luke 22:14-16

(Option: Do a table preparation)

All: You anoint my head with oil, my cup overflows

 Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he said, “Take this and divide it among yourselves; for I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” Luke 22: 17-18

(Pour into the cup)

All: Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life

Then he took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And he did the same with the cup after supper, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood. Luke 22:19-20

Celebrate Communion

All: And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord my whole long life. 

Jesus said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those in authority over them are called benefactors. But not so with you; rather the greatest among you must become like the youngest, and the leader like one who serves. For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one at the table? But I am among you as one who serves. Luke 22:25-27

Closing Prayer of Thanksgiving 

(Feel free to add music, but everyone is handling it differently, I suggest The Shepherd will Supply My Need)

For the Complete List of Narrative Lectionary Lent Resources can be found here including a way to receive a doc copy

The Lord is our Shepherd, A Sheep Scale Prayer

The Lord is our shepherd,

I shall not want.

The Good Shepherd reminds me that the silly sheep belong to him, and that Jesus probably stuck his tongue out to his disciples and friends.

God leadeth me beside still waters, so that ,at times, I am a contented sheep.

When I am a frazzled sheep, overwhelmed and tired, God restoreth my soul.

Even when I want to hide my meager sheep’s head in a bucket, or wander away from the fold–God sends the Holy Spirit to lead me back on the path of righteousness.

And when the path wearies, God gives us a deep and uncompromising sleep, for The Good Shepherd’s name’s sake.

Like a sheep, I am clothed in the beauty your mercy; your rod and your staff comfort me. You surround me with love.

Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, half hiding half jumping at shadows, you are with me.

You anoint my head with oil, my cup overfloweth, and I pant in anticipation of the feast awaiting all of your sheep in heaven. Even in the presence of my enemies, you bless food so it somehow still tastes good.

Some days I leap for joy, remembering that goodness and mercy will chase after me, and someday I will be able to gambol in the house of the Lord, my shepherd, til the end of my life.

So we give thanks to you our Lord and Shepherd, the silly sheep, the resting sheep, the frazzled sheep, the hidden sheep, the exhausted sheep. Help us to see the sheep who are clothed in grace and the sheep who are jumping at shadows, the sheep who hunger for the kingdom and the sheep who remember to leap in joy. Remind us that there is no wrong kind of sheep, and that we, each and every one of us, belong to the shepherd.

In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.

Permission to use or adapt with credit to Pastor Katy Stenta

Pandemic Prayers & Resources

Restlessness

Lord God,

I am restless.

Trapped & yet without a chance to rest.

My brain thinks through a millions scenarios a minute.

I have a thousand unsaid conversations on my tongue.

Lord you know.

You know, how the Holy Spirit moves through us.

Moving through us to do something, and moving through us to rest.

Lord, when I read Psalm 23 to myself, I forget that there is a journey to the still waters.

Here I am, walking through the Valley of the Shadow of death. Feeling evil’s breath on my shoulder.

I feel it in the threat of violence when you ask someone to keep social distance or wear a mask. I feel it when in the hordes of conspiracies that come out to play with our minds.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death.

I shall fear no evil.

In the midst of my restless–they staff and thy rod shall comfort me: for they are the weapons of truth & trust.

I will work with the truth, I will trust on my neighbors. I will work on my own truth, and I will develop my own trust with transparency and compassion.

Lord I am restless.

Driven onward, because the time for rest has not yet arrived.

Stir me in the right way, so that I might find rest, I pray.

Amen.

 

Ash Weds: Narrative Lectionary Here’s what we’re doin’ tonight!

 

 

sheep

Ash Wednesday March 5, 2014

Psalm 23: King James Version

Call to Worship

23 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

Repentance: Confession and Creation of the Ashes (writing and burning of our sins)

He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Silent Contemplation

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Communion

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:

The Lord be with You

And Also with you

Lift Up Your Hearts

We Lift Our Hearts to the Lord

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God

It is right to give our thanks and praise

Epliclesis Prayer &  The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven, give us this day our daily bread, forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom and the glory and the power forever.

Bread  & Cup: Intinction

(please dip the bread in the cup, taking care to keep your fingers from touching the liquid)

Ashes

Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Benediction
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

 

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.