“They shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.” – Isaiah 35:10

Holy Emotion,
always in motion from gladness to sadness
and back again across a life and through the ages;
so many sighs are greater than the winds
ceaselessly moaning across the empty wastes;
fleeing from destroying and controlling powers
is the only way through to a next breath;
separate yourself from the rush of our winds,
and send us into spaces of quietude
not of our own making where we can rest.
Amen.

“By your endurance you will gain your souls.” – Luke 21:19

Lord of the Race,
Keeper of Time,
who, breathing, breathlessly 
holds all Creation together;
we gasp for breath
having only taken
a few small steps to keep up
with our neighbor's neighbor;
fearing for our trammeled souls
molded by beaten paths,
we seek not only a way
but the gumption
to get on with it
so as to endure.
Amen.

“Now God is God not of the dead, but of the living…” – Luke 20:38

God in whom we live and have our very being,
who enlivens all death,
who effortlessly turns the pages of the Book of Life,
who dances on graves,
and who says "Yes" to every "No,"
the leaves fall,
the ground hardens,
the buried rest
and we must go on living.
The earth continues to turn
and so many of those in the world
continue their death-dealing ways.
Dwell with us once again
so we may join you in your divine dance
holding hands with all of the ones
who have gone before us into your music.
Amen.

“Let us also lay aside every weight…that clings so closely.” – Hebrews 12:1

God who knows the weight of the universe,
driving down the frenzied highway of life
we glance and see the future in our rear-view mirrors
holding a sign reading, "The end is near."
We wonder what strange powers
order letters into these particular words.
What message attempts to come to life and be declared?
Are we missing something important,
something everyone else but us knows?
If we are the last to hear and to understand
will that endanger the lives of our loved ones?
Our questions cling to our bodies and weigh us down.
Give us strength to gently shudder them to the ground
so that on this day and in this hour and at this time
we can breathe and get on with living.
Amen.

“…but all who humble themselves will be exalted.”  – Luke 18:14

God of the Pedestaled and of the lowly base,
in the midst of the upright and tumbled
we strive to climb,
we yearn to settle down,
seeking a bit of fortune and some fame,
deliver us from those who
only clamber noisefully upward
to the heavens of their own making
while stepping, worse eliminating,
the ones who are happy with step-by-step.
Amen.

“The days are surely coming, says the Lord…” – Jeremiah 31:31

Creator of all days,
Sender of the morning brilliance,
Our growing out of seeds in darkness
Brings fruit to the edge of underground
Where we wait for the first light.
Make us shine and become ablaze
to burn away all the layers of dross 
meant to keep us in our place.
Amen.

“…one of them…asked him a question to test him.” Matthew 22:35





Creating Word of the World
where words can be formed into questions,
we come to you on syllables of air -
perhaps seeking answers
lying fallow on frozen fields -
but more in search of interpretations
and explanations leading to more questions
and to more questions.
We ask all this quietly
for subtle guidance
so as not to stir those
who debate the placement 
of letters on the page,
for their rage seeks to control
all that dwells in their midst.
Amen.

…to walk in all God’s ways… – Deut 10:12

God, 
who strolls in the garden and in the desert,
who walks the sea and down from the mountaintop,
who dares to become human out of curiosity
and who dwells in our midst where we are gathered,
sometimes your steps are so wide apart
that our all-too-human strides stumble and trip
trying to keep up with the latest demands
of our own interpretation of your holy ways.
Pick us up and dust us off once again
and as many times as is needed
so we may more than dream
but yearn to walk with you.
Amen.

“Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles?” – Matthew 7:16

God of fruits that feed and nourish,
God of dangers that puncture and cut,
light the porches of well-being;
for while you hand out treats
in places we find so hard to discover,
we seek the tricks of promises
for an easy eternity,
looking in the fields of fortune
for the harvests of fame.
Amen.