Prayer for Times of Grief

God of compassion, There are times when it seems impossible to give thanks, for the loss is too recent and the pain is too great. But in this, we have hope, That even in the darkest valley, we are not alone, for you are there And our hope is not in vain, for we see your presence in the church, the body of Christ, which walks beside us. Give us the grace and love

When the Idols are Destroyed

Holy God, We come to you bearing many things. Some are burdens, but others are idols: The idol of superiority, The idol of certainty, The idol of believing that we are the gatekeepers to your kingdom, The idol of making the gospel an object of mere belief, and not a way of life. But when the burdens are lifted, and the idols are destroyed, What remains is truly precious: Women and men in community,

The Burden of Freedom

Hearing the sermon on Sunday, then reading Abraham Joshua Heschel on Monday and Flannery O’Connor on Tuesday – they all seemed to be speaking the same thing to me. This week’s prayer: Lord, I feel the weight of my choices, bearing down upon my conscience, each one a testimony to the truth that those who do evil have their greatest allies in those who do nothing. The burden of freedom is this,

Do Not Be Daunted

I bought an entire book for these two paragraphs, but they are worth much more than I paid: “Rabbi Tarfon would say: You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it. Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. Do justly, now, Love mercy, now. Walk humbly, now.”1 Rabbi Rami M. Shapiro, Wisdom of the Jewish Sages: A Modern Reading of Pirke Avot, p.

In Offense, Giving Thanks

On Passing Judgment

One of last week’s lectionary texts was Romans 14:1-12. Why do you pass judgment on your brother or sister? Or you, why do you despise your brother or sister? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. (Rom. 14:10, NRSV) God of Grace, In belittling others, I am made small. By doubting their faith, I cheapen my own. In my haste to judge, I am the one condemned.

Be the Body of Christ

A Prayer for My Failing Faith

God of Hope, I claim to be person of faith, yet live as a person of fear. I build walls, because I fear the stranger; Hold on to the present, because I fear the future. And make my own plans, because I do not trust yours. What a fool to think that what I do out of fear could ever be better than what you do out of love. Thanks be to God,

A New School Year

As this year’s chairperson of the Faculty Council, I am privileged to open our first employee meeting with a reading from Scripture and a prayer. This year, our academic year begins one week after the horrific display of racism and violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. That event prompted my reflection on the following text. Colossians 3:1-15 So if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.

Prayer for Graceful Words