O God as we enter Lent
May we remember we are walking with you on a journey towards Holy Week –
May we pause and pray and meet with you.
Your teaching has been about the kingdom or community of God,
A way of life and a community that goes up against the empires of domination –
As relevant now as it ever has been.
The empires of greed favouring the rich and
Instead of your way reflecting justice for all.
As you head to Jerusalem you are witness to this
on Palm Sunday
As you ride in with non-violence,
From one side of Jerusalem gentle and riding on a donkey –
From the other side the army of empire, injustice, greed and oppression.
As you turn the tables of oppression,
So the empire wants you killed
The powers who rule, crucify you: the sinfulness of the world kills you.
But on Easter Sunday God affirms you
And all you have done –
It is a rising again –
God’s community of love continues forever.
May we be in the community of love –
The community that is never silent
And so a community of the Gospel bringing justice and hope to all.
It witnesses to the wounded God –
It whispers of the generous God of love
We walk with the activists on the way
And we are encouraged to become communities
That are just and loving –
Communities that make a difference
Communities that reflect the light of the Gospel –
Do justice, show mercy, and walk humbly with God.
Deep in the heart of the infinite darkness
A tiny blue marble is spinnin’ thru space
Born in the splendour of God’s holy vision
And sliding away like a tear down his face
Closer you see the whole wide holy wonder
Of oceans and mountains and rivers and trees
And the strangest creation of many, the human
A creature of laughter and freedom and dreams
Now the warriors are wavin’ their old rusty sabres
Preachers are preachin’ a gospel of hate
By their behavior determined to teach us
A lesson we’re soon to be learnin’ too late
Look closer my brother, we’re killin’ each other
We better stop and get started today
Because life is the question and life is the answer
And God is the reason and love is the way
Words and music Kris Kristofferson
Resaca Music Publishing
God of the just heart
In the challenging words of the Sermon on the Mount
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for justice
They shall be satisfied”
You remind us that satisfaction does not lie where we might expect it,
In the security of wealth and privilege,
But in the joy of doing what is right
So may liberation and justice rise
Because this is the calling of your community
This builds relationships and just societies
May equality rise
May apartheid fall
This will bring deep satisfaction as all are made welcome
And as all are treated as made in the image…
So keep us hungering and thirsting
For the values that make us all whole
And then we know the healing fountains will start.
You cannot serve God and the occupation.
A short liturgy for the Sabeel-Kairos Conference
God of darkness… as well as God of light
Wounded God… yet healing God
When we stumble on the journey and see no hope
May we take time to walk away from what distracts us,
Take time to pause and be silent.
You were not there in the earthquake nor in the wind nor in the fire
But in the sheer silence;
It is there we meet you again.
May we go to the silence to restore our equilibrium –
To gain the strength to cast our net again as we realise
You have not done with us yet…
There is still hope.
St. George – The Palestinian patron saint of England
That St George was a Palestinian is often a surprise to people. So here is a prayer/meditation to use around this time to remind us of the lessons we learn from St. George.
He is known as ‘the healer’– we can be thinking of those involved in healing in our own communities and around the world in these difficult days.
This comment of the former Bishop of Rochester, Dr Michael Nazir Ali is helpful. He pointed out in a letter to The Guardian some years back that “There is often a perpetuating of Edward Gibbon’s error of identifying the patron saint of England with the “grasping or violent” “George of Cappadocia” …… but the patron saint of England, is, rather, George of Lydda in Palestine. This Palestinian is known in the Eastern Church as the Great Martyr and is also the patron saint of Christians in Syria, India and other places in the East.”
So St.George is an international figure and a figure with a message and a spirituality which I hope will be reflected in this prayer.
A Prayer / meditation for St George’s Day
God, the distant memory of the martyr St George
Can still inspire and challenge us.
This saint from Palestine is still remembered across the Middle East –
As the Healer, and as “the Green One” who protects the environment –
He brings the faiths together
Because he is respected across the faiths,
So in England where he is our Patron Saint
This encourages us – especially in this time when we need healing –
To support one another,
To respect different viewpoints and faiths,
And to look after this wonderful world we have been given.
It reminds us to love humanity and love our world.
God, let the witness of a martyr
Who stands for the values of your community,
Against the powerful empire of domination,
Remind us of the journey we must take –
A journey showing compassion, mercy and justice to all
So that our world might be healed in these difficult times And brought back from the ways of violence
To the ways of wholeness.
May any ideas of excluding the other be removed
From our minds and lives,
As we realise that in you, giving God,
There is no scarcity of blessing.
We do not have to try and own you or define you –
You have already defined us
By making us in your image
And by showing us the example of your vulnerable love.