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
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.
God teach me how to take the target off of my Asian neighbor’s back.
I am torn by grief that the stereotypes and the racial violence continues.
God help me to fight against the idea of a model minority.
Help me to interrupt, to disrupt, to work against any and all micro-aggressions. Strengthen my resolve and spark my curiosity so I never stop learning about how they creep into my perception of the world.
Do not let any of us call a horrific pandemic the China or Kung Fu virus. For it is racist and wrong. It is evil, let us denounce it as so.
Help me to confront, and not dwell in shame or embarrassment, so I can address when I participate–in the Asians are smart-compliant-good-at-math-“Asian”-stereotypes.
And be with those communities that have received injuries or death in the United States. Help those who are Asian–whichever of the more than a dozen countries that means–find community and connection. Help those who are citizens and those who are not to get the help they need I pray.
Give them sanctuary.
Help us to be more of a sanctuary. Help us not to proclaim ourselves as “safe” but instead teach us how to actually be and enact safety and hospitality.
God I know there’s a target on my Asian neighbor’s back and it makes me want to weep and rage. Teach me how to stop this targeting, I pray.
Show me how each individual is uniquely and beautifully made in your image.
And help me to do the White work I need to do.
In the name of Jesus Christ I pray.
Please feel free to use/share credit to Pastor Katy Stenta
I love the word Selah, the untranslatable cry to God. We have guesses, but we don’t know exactly what it means
For me it translates into the prayer that we don’t know how to pray
Its the cry out on Maundy Thursday when Jesus is worried about something that we cannot yet conceive, Selah
The cry when the first Muslim judge- Sheila Abdus-Salaam-is found dead, the domestic murder of a teacher-Karen Smith-and her student-Jonathan Martinez-registers as almost normal and when an Asian man-Dr. David Dao–is assaulted to give up his airline seat. Selah.
The cry when it is revealed that one of your friends will betray your teacher, Christ. When the fellowship is still intact, but Friday is coming. Selah
The cry when your leader bombs not one but two countries in the same Fortnight. Selah
The cry when Friday is coming, and you wish this cup can be taken from your lips, but you know it can’t be, so you pray at Gethsemane, and Friday still comes. Selah.
Drought in Africa, Dirty water in Flint, Trans Man outed by a Gay Competitor, Black Lives Still Matter, Missing Teens of Color some of these prayers never seem to end. Selah.
“There’s usually a point in Holy Week when I inform God that I’m really not sure humanity was worth all that.
We’ve reached it.”-@revlucymeg. Selah.
The violence that makes up the Cross is present, its real, its stark and needs to be mourned. Selah.
its been a crazy week. I’ve in essence heard the Good Samaritan story three times.
First time was with Alton Sterling, then Pilando Castile and finally with the Dallas police officers who were targeted. This in the wake of Orlando is wearying.
And then we hear the story of the Good Samaritan and the lawyer asks but…who…who exactly is my neighbor?
My flippant answer is whoever is close enough to annoy you. And as you know people can be pretty far away and still be close enough to annoy you.
My more serious answer is those you are close enough to hurt. This is an amazing thought because you can be very far away–all across the world or thd internet and still be able to hurt someone.
The counter to that is that if you are close enough to hurt someone then you are close enough to hurt someone then you are close enough to help them.
the Good Samaritan story was so revolutionary because the Samaritans were so politically and religiously at odds with one another. They would desecrate each other’s temples, burn each other’s buildings and fight over the same land and water. When Jesus tells this story it angered people because it’s like telling about Muslim and a Christian or an African American young man and a police officer. This was Jesus’s answer to Who is my neighbor.
The Belhar Confession, which is being adopted by the PCUSA was written by Africa about apartheid. We in the USA don’t seem to have apartheid until you look at the kind of violence that is going on and how it hurts African-Americans until you look at the kind of violence that is going on and how it hurts police officers.
Belhar Confession is about unity being both a gift of God and our duty. I don’t know what to do about African-Anericans being stopped for minor violations and things escalating so quickly. I don’t know what to do about police officers being targeted for violence. Unity Both a gift and a duty because God says we belong to one another.
We belong to one another because we each of us are called to bind up the wounds of the cops and the African-Americans. We belong to one another because Jesus has loved us into being showing us how love affirms our??? identity. Christians need to love like Jesus. There are no “buts” I this love, it’s not I love you but… It’s I love you and We belong to each other.
Real love is the kind that takes nothing away from you it affirms and does nothing but add to your identity it’s a live not based on your value or progress or perfection. God made us each unique and still belonging to one another. The word of God is not to believe in God and be the same, but love one another and affirm each identity so we add to each other.
Love is a language that doesn’t even compute in the financial, political and corporate world . That is the kind of love we are called to practice because we belong to one another God gives us to one another as a gift and it’s something to also work for. We belong to one another. Who is my neighbor? All those whom we are close enought to help. This is the word of the Lord thanks be to God!
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