Prayer for Syria

Holy One, Today, our hearts break for the people of Syria, and we fear for the state of our world. Assad tortures and kills his own people, desperately grasping at power with weapons, threats, force. Some Syrians join extremist groups, hoping guns and bombs will lead them to freedom and peace. Many Syrians flee. They…

Prayer for the New Year

God of new life, God of life made new, We begin this new year as we ended the last– embraced by your spirit of love your presence of peace your gentle power. We leave behind the old year with prayers of gratitude for the love we have known, with prayers for mercy in the pain…

Easter Worship Pieces

Call to Worship (from Isaiah 65 and John 20) In the light of this Easter morning God is doing something new! New heavens. New earth. New life. Weeping turns to joy. Sorrow to delight. Be glad and rejoice. The stone is rolled away. The grave clothes lie in a heap. Jesus, who was dead, is…

A Prayer for Palm Sunday

God of the cross, tottering down the streets of Jerusalem on a donkey, You are not the savior we expect. Your power doesn’t look like the power we want our God to have. Your wisdom makes no sense to us. We are happy to join the crowd, waving branches, But not so sure we want…

How Many Candles?

Sunday morning at the beginning of worship, I lit our peace lamp and then I lit four white candles: for Paris, Beirut, Aleppo, and Baghdad. I almost skipped the candle-lighting altogether because I couldn’t figure out how many candles to light. Beirut and Paris, of course. Those were horrific terrorist attacks among people who don’t…

Thoughts on Hannah and Prayer

[This reflection is excerpted from an earlier sermon.] 1 Samuel 1:4-18 We have before us in the text this morning a very odd scene. There is a woman, probably in her thirties. She comes to the shrine at Shiloh—the most holy of Jewish worship sites in these pre-temple days; the place where the sacred Ark…