Resolution for the New Year

Just breathe
in the sharp ice air
that stings the hollows of my nose
and mingles with the blood that flows
to each hair follicle,
through each artery, each vein,
fueling my stops and starts toward home,
warming my wind-whipped skin,
sinking deep into the marrow of each bone.

Just breathe
out the warm mist
that somersaults from my lips
and dances, dips,
disappears into sky and soil
or is caught by the spindly fingers of winter trees
who hold it until spring
when it will burst into leaves . . .

In this new,
this bright and bleak
this beckoning year
I will breathe.
Just breathe.


Weekly Worship Piece: Call to Worship–Power

One of the beautiful aspects of our congregation is that people besides me preach on a fairly regular basis. This coming Sunday the intelligent and thoughtful Joe Casad will continue our worship series on Jesus’ disciples by focusing on the crowd.  Have you ever noticed how much “the crowd” shows up as a character in the Gospels?

I haven’t heard Joe’s sermon yet, but I do know that he will be exploring issues of power–who has it, how they have it, and what they do with it. The crowd seems to control the “powerful” (Pilate, high priests) in ways that it does not control Jesus. (This is interesting stuff!  You should definitely make the trip to Peace Mennonite for Joe’s sermon🙂

So, in light of the sermon topic and feeling overwhelmed by the political climate right now, I have written this call to worship:

Leader: We need a break from the power-obsessed crowds.
Side 1: Who can speak the loudest?
Side 2: Who can debate the smartest?
Side 1: Who gets the most tweets?
Side 2: Who gets the most hits?
Side 1: Who has the most money?
Side 2: Who has the most weapons?
Leader: These crowds that push and pull and chant and yell.
Side 1: These crowds that cause fear.
Side 2: These crowds that are afraid.
Leader: We are part of these crowds
All: And we need to step away.
Side 1: To rest here, with God, the One who is truly powerful.
Side 2: To listen here, to Jesus, who will teach us the power of the cross.
Leader: We need to rest. To listen. To breathe.
All: May it be so. Today. Amen