Ash Valentine

 It's Valentine's day! Yay! Let's dream of love and romance and all the things we need to make a relationship last... It's Ash Wednesday! Yay! Let's dream of love and sacrifice and all the things we need to make a relationship last... My mum (age 95) plans to walk five times around the garden each day during Lent. She's going to give up chocolate too. My pastor will give up after-the-sermon chats. And me? I know I'm dreaming of love today--the earthly love of a spouse caring for me when I've broken my wrist--the heavenly love of my creator who came to earth to live in a human body--the love that shines on a cloudy day, glints warmth from snow, reigns hope. For Lent, I'll try to remember I'm not in control (of the weather, politics, global warming, human sexuality, or anything else that everyone talks about). Neither is anyone else. I'll try to remember there's a God who will make it all work out. And I'll love my neighbor, whatever th

Not Odd At All

 A pastor said it was "odd" to celebrate communion during Advent. Christmas is a birthday party, he said, and communion is a funeral. Then I wished I were brave enough to speak up and disagree. Christmas is a celebration of birth, not a birthday party - the baby doesn't grow one year older every year. But that birth only matters, two thousand years on, because of the person who is born; because of heaven come down to earth; because of the promise embodied in the Christ. And communion? In communion we commit ourselves to be part of Christmas's promise; we "do this in memory" of him. We say yes, this matters. This changes everything. Without communion, Christmas doesn't touch us, doesn't have any effect. And without Christmas, communion becomes a commitment that's meaningless. Just social and fun (and still not a funeral). So no, it's not "odd" at all. Communion makes us part of the meaning of Christmas. We might call the season Jesus

Easter Sunday Prayer

Law is the pit in the ground where we lie. Love rises up from the grave. Law is the mirror that proves we must die. Love takes our place and love saves. Law gathered stones all together for throwing. Love drew a line in the sand. “Let one who has no sin take up the first stone.” Law stepped away and love sang. Law hung my God on a cross on a hill. Love paid the price for my sin. Love rose from the dead and love weeps for me still. Love’s gonna change me. Love wins. Hallelujah!

Holy Saturday Prayer

 It we make right laws and force all to obey, will we save our nation, Or will we learn like Pharisees we’ve spurned that great salvation? Cry crucify and find the one we’ve crucified   was Him For we have crucified our Lord.

Good Friday Prayer

 I was there when they crucified my Lord. I was there; it was for my sins he died. I was there when they nailed him to the tree. All the times I’d blamed my neighbor—those the nails. I was there when they laid him in the tomb. Let me lay down there my pride; Let me kneel at my neighbor’s side; Let me no more stand in judgment For I judged Him and he died For you, for me. Let us no more stand in judgment You and I.

Maundy Thursday Prayer

 I’ll take a stand on Him, for sure, then at his feet I’ll kneel And learn to wash my neighbors’ feet, until his love I feel Flow unobstructed through me, only then might I deserve To stand with him and serve with him and join him in his work. Till then I’ll bow my head and kneel beside my neighbors’ feet — I’ll kneel before my king.

Palm Sunday prayer

 He rode no valiant warhorse. He bore no mighty sword. His glorious crown was made of thorns. His robes trailed in the mud.   He led no revolution His politics were love He offered absolution, mercy, Hope; for these he stood,   The stones would shout to praise him If people didn’t cry. Then palms be thrown. No golden road For donkey and its rider.   So, will we shout Hosanna Or turns our backs instead — Facing the crowd, shout “Not allowed,” Though for our sins he bled?   They cannot see our savior Who rides the donkey’s back — See only us who block the path With laws, with crowns of thorns.   They cannot see him. How can we Not weep?