Morning Prayer Monday, 26 April 2021
By Grace Shulman
Because, in a wounded universe, the tufts
of grass still glisten, the first daffodil
shoots up through ice-melt, and a red-tailed hawk
perches on a cathedral spire; and because
children toss a fire-red ball in the yard
where a schoolhouse façade was scarred by vandals,
and joggers still circle a dry reservoir;
because a rainbow flaunts its painted ribbons
and slips them somewhere underneath the earth;
because in a smoky bar the trombone blares
louder than street sirens, because those
who can no longer speak of pain are singing;
and when on this wide meadow in the park
a full moon still outshines the city lights,
and on returning home, below the North Star,
I see new bricks-and-glass where the Towers fell;
and I remember my lover’s calloused hand
soften in my hand while crab apple blossoms
showered our laps, and a yellow rose
opened with its satellites of orange buds,
because I cannot lose the injured world
without losing the world, I’ll have to praise it.
Good morning and welcome to Morning Prayer
The night has passed, and the day lies open before us;
let us pray with one heart and mind.
Silence is kept.
As we rejoice in the gift of this new day,
so may the light of your presence,
O God, set our hearts on fire with love for you;
now and for ever.
Spirit of Truth
who reveals to us
the things of God we praise your name.
Spirit of Wisdom
who inspires the words
we ought to speak we praise your name.
Spirit of Power
who grants the courage
we need to act we praise your name.
Spirit of Love
who knows our nature and
loves us still we praise your name.
The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
(Gerard Manley Hopkins)
I dwell for a moment on the Presence of God
around me, in every part of my body,
and deep within my being.
A thick and shapeless tree-trunk
would never believe that it could become a statue,
admired as a miracle of sculpture,
and would never submit itself to the chisel of the sculptor,
who sees by his genius what he can make of it. (Saint Ignatius)
I ask for the grace to let myself be shaped by my loving Creator.
Life is busy Lord
Often my best intentions are left undone.
But I know that you are with me in all I say and do,
And in everyone I meet with daily.
THE WORD OF GOD
The next day the crowd that had stayed on the opposite shore of the lakerealized that only one boat had been there, and that Jesus had not entered it with his disciples, but that they had gone away alone. Then some boats from Tiberias landed near the place where the people had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks. Once the crowd realized that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into the boats and went to Capernaum in search of Jesus.
When they found him on the other side of the lake, they asked him, “Rabbi,when did you get here?”
Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”
Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”
Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”
WORDS OF WISDOM
Love and grief go hand in hand. Sometimes it is the deep grief we feel during loss that awakens us to the depth and sincerity of our love. As we witness the many ways the earth has been exploited and damaged beyond repair (particularly in our lifetimes), we must grieve and commit to show our love through conscious action. The Rev. Dr. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas expresses her grief through prayer:
In times like these, our prayer may need to be expressive and embodied, visceral and vocal. How else can we pray with our immense anger and grief? How else can we pray about ecocide, about the death that humanity is unleashing upon Mother Earth and upon ourselves? How else can we break through our inertia and despair, so that we don’t shut down and go numb? …
I’ve taken to praying outdoors. I go outside, feel the good earth beneath my feet and the wind on my face, and I sing to the trees—to oak and beech, hemlock and pines. Making up the words and music as I go along, I sing my grief to the trees that are going down, and my grief for so much more—for what we have lost and are losing, and for what we are likely to lose. I sing my outrage about these beautiful old trees being cut to the roots, their bodies chipped to bits and hauled away to sell. I sing my fury about the predicament we’re in as a species. I sing my protest of the political and corporate powers-that-be that drive forward relentlessly with business as usual, razing forests, drilling for more oil and fracked gas, digging for more coal, expanding pipeline construction, and opening up public lands and waters to endless exploitation, as if Earth were their private business and they were conducting a liquidation sale. I sing out my shame to the trees, my repentance and apology for the part I have played in Earth’s destruction and for the part my ancestors played when they stole land and chopped down the original forests of the Native peoples who lived here. I sing my praise for the beauty of trees and my resolve not to let a day go by that I don’t celebrate the precious living world of which we are so blessedly a part. I’m not finished until I sing my determination to renew action for trees and for all of God’s Creation…
So our prayer may be noisy and expressive, or it may be very quiet. It may be the kind of prayer that depends on listening in stillness and silence with complete attention: listening to the crickets as they pulse at night, listening to the rain as it falls, listening to our breath as we breathe God in and breathe God out, listening to the inner voice of love that is always sounding in our heart. A discipline of contemplative prayer or meditation can set us free from the frantic churn of thoughts and feelings and enable our spirit to rest and roam in a vaster, wilder space.
Rev. Dr. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas
Copyright © 2021 by CAC. Used by permission of CAC. All rights reserved worldwide.
PRAYERS AND INTERCESSIONS
We pray for the world…
Lord, in your mercy
hear our prayer.
We pray for the universal church of Christ…
Lord, in your mercy
hear our prayer.
We pray for one another and all those known to us…
Lord, in your mercy
hear our prayer.
THE LORD’S PRAYER
As our Saviour taught us, so we pray
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours now and for ever.
May God the provider of green pastures and
quiet waters be the peace in our hearts today
May Jesus our guide on mountain top and valley
deep be the hope in our hearts today
May the Spirit of truth and knowledge
comforter and friend be the strength i
n our hearts today
May the beauty of God be reflected in your eyes,
the love of God be reflected in your hands,
the wisdom of God be reflected in your words,
and the knowledge of God flow from your heart,
that all might see, and seeing, believe
Thank you for join us. Have a wonderful day!
Revd. Ernesto Lozada-Uzuriaga