A Prayer for Sunday 24th January 2021

God of Justice, God of Hope, we look to you today.

Thank you for those who work tirelessly to bring justice and restoration to your people here on earth. Those who do so quietly, in foodbanks and rape crisis centres. Those who do so loudly on TV interviews and social media. All at personal cost, and all from a sense that this must be put right. May we always be a people that seek to put right what does not come from You.

Thank you for those who continue to do their bit, even though they are exhausted, depressed, isolated. For those who continue to engage in communities they are wounded by, in the hope they can bring change. For those who have no strength left to act but still turn up to bear witness, for to witness is to notice and to notice is to care. And when strength is restored, may their stories bring reform of all that does not come from You.

Thank you for those who are hopeless, for they are so beloved. Bless them today, God of Joy. May they know today there is light in the morning, however long the night, and while the darkness endures they are not alone. Call them into Your communities today God, online, via support groups, a compassionate friend. Nudge us with your Spirit to be that person to someone in need today, and ease some of the loneliness that does not come from You.

Pour Your love and compassion into us in abundance so we may share with others and bring Your kin-dom to this world today. For this is what comes from You and we embrace it in Your name.

Amen

Peace be with you

A Prayer for Sunday 17th January 2021

God who sees all we do, think and are, we lay all our efforts before you today.

When all seems futile and the bigger picture seems overwhelming, may we keep on walking our unique path with You.

When our work is criticised and our products rebuked, when our motives questioned and our characters misunderstood, may we keep on walking our unique path with You.

When we run short on energy, wisdom and patience, may we lean into You for Yours, knowing all good things come from you and from you good things come, so that we may keep on walking our unique path with You.

We may not always know where we are going, or how, why or when, but we can always know it is with You. Bless us this day and always as we give our best efforts to waking humbly, one step at a time, in the knowledge our journey is individual, important, meaningful, and part of this blessed creation story that stretches throughout time, beginning and ending with You.

Amen

Peace be with you.

A Prayer for Sunday 10th January 2021

What a messy world we live in God. Yet as the snow falls, what beauty I see.

As we reflect on a week of violence, shocked by scenes of terrorism, angered that it has not been called out as such, and dismayed at the injustice our brothers and sisters arrested under the banner of Black Lives Matter see, we invite you to bring beauty into the mess.

As we watch rising Covid infection rates, mourn far too many deaths and deeply miss our loved ones we are restricted from seeing, we invite you to bring beauty into the mess.

As we face more lockdown, more household juggling, more homeschooling, homeworking, home confinement, we invite you to bring beauty into the mess.

May we always look to the beauty, even in the messiest of situations. For their will always be beauty. There will always be you.

Amen

Peace be with you

A Prayer for Sunday 3rd January 2021

God, Spirit, Jesus, bring us life at the dawn of this new year.

As we look forward to better times while acknowledging we are still living through very tough days;

God, Spirit, Jesus, bring us life at the dawn of this new year.

As we hold on to you as our hope, when there may be little else left;

God, Spirit, Jesus, bring us life at the dawn of this new year.

As we look to you and look to eachother, looking away from bad news cycles, social media arguments and conspiracy theories;

God, Spirit, Jesus, bring us life at the dawn of this new year.

Throughout everything, within everything, amongst everything, You abide. Abide with us in this new life throughout 2021 and beyond.

Amen

Peace be with you

The Stark Reality

When an overdramatic title draws you in, but you realise very quickly it isn’t overdramatic at all …

One of the blessings I find each year after the chaos of Christmas is time to read the pile of books I have generally accrued that year. This Boxing Day I pulled ‘Bad Theology Kills’ (one of my birthday stack) off the shelf and idly began flicking, but by page two my attention was sharply standing to attention. This work was revolutionary. I mean, I’d said for a while in my own deconstruction the difference between choosing traditional theology and choosing liberal loving theology was life or death, but this writer was nailing it – in a way that made me want to weep and woop in equal measure.

Their stories started to leap off the page – they were mine too! Their experiences – I’d lived through some of those exact conversations. The frameworks they presented for why gave my soul a chance, finally, to find some peace with it all in a final, logical way. They get it. Someone gets me. More than that, they are doing the same thing I am, speaking up because we just can’t reconcile silence and standing by any longer.

Everyone who calls themselves a Christian should read this book. We have a responsibility to understand the pain we cause when we continue to uphold theological stances ‘because that’s what the Bible says’ without constantly examining what that actually means, how and when we learned that, where on the Wesleyan Quad we sit, etc etc … when we KNOW our stance is directly reaponsible for abuse, homelessness and death.

If you read it and don’t change your stance, that’s up to you, but the challenge will stir your soul I promise, and that can only be a good thing …

Peace be with you … but maybe not too much this time!

A Prayer for Christmas Day 2020

Welcome, Jesus, as a babe you came. Today we remember.

We pause and remember the gift of hope, packaged in a simple child. When all is too big, complex and frustrating, help us to look for the simple hope, and the hope of the small and simple.

We pause and remember the gift of beauty, in the most natural of elements, life. When all seems full of ill health, death and darkness, guide us towards the evergreens, berries and fresh blooms which speak of eternal life, available to delight in, always.

We pause and remember the gift of joy, delivered safely and held close to Mary’s breast. Amidst the sadness, the loss and the absence, may we be determined to seek the joy, create fullness and live in the moments where we know the gladness of life.

Welcome, Jesus, as a babe you came. Today we remember.

Amen

Peace, and the blessings of Christmas, be with you

A Prayer for Sunday 20th December 2020

Light brings hope in the darkness. We wait for that light now, o God.

Light reveals what was always there but we could not see. We seek that revelation, o God.

Light warms the space it touches and blesses it with life. Enliven us now, o God.

Light lifts what we see from a static and flat state to a dynamic and vibrant dance. May we dance in the light, o God.

Your light is coming. We can almost touch it. As we hold our breath with anticipation, and reach for You with our need, reach for us with your love, and bless us with your peace.

Amen

Peace be with you

Truths Hurt

Reflecting is vital, even if what we see looking back at us creates pain and dissonance …

“What you say is hurtful. How you say it is hurtful. Your tone is not helpful. You don’t deal with things properly. There are ways and means. If you go around hurting people, you won’t get anywhere.”

All of these comments are reflections I have received and sat with, all have been painful to receive and all have stopped me in my tracks. Each and every one I have ultimately valued as feedback which has informed my life and presented me with choices around how I speak, write, present.

That doesn’t mean I’ve always chosen the soft, polite, due process approach though …

There comes a time when polite attempts to talk about injustice run out of time. Martin Luther King bent the knee, as an action was to speak louder than words.

There comes a time when asking nicely runs out of steam. Mary McLeod Bethune faced off the Ku Klux Klan to cast her hard won vote, no asking for her but the time for taking.

There comes a time when standing by runs out of authenticity. Jesus threw over tables and chased sellers out of the temple with an impromptu whip; there was no place for standing by as the temple was desecrated.

There comes a time when just pointing out the problems and hoping someone might take you seriously before it is too late, becomes too late. Those in charge of the processes and holding the power step away from your situation when not interacting with you, but not you. You have to live it. You have to hold the tensions between needs and experiences, expressing and not rocking the boat, being heard and being a troublemaker, building relationships and watching them falter as you find your strength, reclaiming your own agency to see that impacting others … and eventually it implodes

When all you want to do is speak your truth and have it heard, understood, and responded to well.

I know when the truth is spoken to me, it can hurt. I know my truth is hurtful to others. But I also know the only way that hurt can be released is to speak it and resolve it with compassion and kindness, knowing we all just want to do our best in this trickiest of worlds we live in. The only way understanding can be reached is through difficult conversations. The only way change can ever come is through speaking truth.

Peace be with you.

A Prayer for Sunday 13th December 2020

As the rose blooms in the rain, on this Gaudete Sunday may we lift our faces to the storm clouds and sing your praises anyway.

As the rose produces a beautiful, sweet scent when all around it the stench of manure is ripe, on this Gaudete Sunday may we be fragrant as the fruits of your Spirit ripen in our lives; may we be fertilised by the multitude of shit around us but not overwhelmed by it.

As the rose feeds those around us by the pollen it produces, on this Gaudete Sunday may we feed those around us by our gifts, our words, our deeds and our presence; may we know we are valued and needed, that we are an integral part of the world’s beautiful and vibrant tapestry, and that the lives of those around us would be less without our enriching contibution.

As the rose has thorns for protection, on this Gaudete Sunday may we know to hold our boundaries. May we love, and give, and care, but may we also discern, and be prayerful, and rest. Although I pray we maintain boudaries well enough we don’t fall into hurting others for self preservation, for thorns have a bite we need not inflict.

As the rose has beauty, on this Gaudete Sunday may we reflect yours God, and may we also embody our own. You made us to be unique, to have our own purpose, our individuality, our voice and our words. You gave us our being and we craft our image together. As you tend your garden, may you look at us, your stunning array of quirky, dissimilar, vibrant, eclectic, amazing, wonderful roses and be well pleased.

As I am to be your rose today.

Amen

Peace be with you.

A Prayer for Sunday 6th December, 2nd Sunday of Advent

God, in your wisdom, you gave us waiting before blessing.

You gave us frustration before achievement.

You gave us trial and error before success.

You gave us wrestling before realisation.

You gave us learning before knowledge.

You gave us the journey before the destination God, and I thank You for it.

Give us Peace this Advent as we walk the journey, with you by our side.

Amen

Peace be with you