July 30, 2019

Tiny Desk Sermon: Lectionary 18 C, Luke 12:13-21 (Or: This one gets personal really quickly...)


July 10, 2019

Tiny Desk Sermon: Lectionary 15 C, Luke 10:25-37 (Or: We need a new name for the good samaritan...)


June 20, 2019

Eucharistic Prayer for Pride Sunday

I wrote this for the church to use when celebrating Pride Sundays. May be used freely in any church. I appreciate receiving notice that you are using it.

With thanks to Bryan Rust for guidance and inspiration.
 

Eucharistic Prayer for Pride Sunday

Holy God of wonder,
you created light that shines
through clouds with every color.
Through Noah you made your promise
to love all humanity no matter what
by revealing your expansive rainbow.
Through your people
you revealed your will
that loving you alone
leads us to love our neighbors.
When some of our neighbors were
rejected and neglected
you sent prophets to call us back
to full inclusion of all persons
at blessed tables of bread, wine, and friendship.

You revealed the fullness of your love
in Jesus of Nazareth,
who loved all persons in their human dignity,
who forgave us for our failure to see your image
in all genders, all sexualities, all colors,
who suffered in solidarity with all the rejected,
who inspires us now to celebrate love
in all its wonderful forms,
who fills us with pride and gratitude
for being born this way,
and for being made new in endless grace.

In the night in which he was betrayed,
our Lord Jesus took bread, and gave thanks;
broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying:
Take and eat; this is my body, given for you.
Do this for the remembrance of me.

Again, after supper, he took the cup, gave thanks,
and gave it for all to drink, saying:
This cup is the new covenant in my blood,
shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness of sin.
Do this for the remembrance of me.
As one body of many beautiful ones,
we proclaim the mystery of faith:
Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again.

Send now your life-giving Spirit
upon this gathering of queer and straight,
wondering and wonderful.
Let the fire of your love reveal once again
your rainbow of love in our lives.
Bless this bread and wine
so that as we are loved in Christ here and now,
we have courage and strength
to embrace those feeling unloved,
to advocate for those still facing rejection,
seeking justice, reconciliation, and healing
in families, in churches, in societies, in governments.
Unite us at this table of grace,
so that each of us knows we are cherished by you,
and we love each of your beloved.

God of stunning diversity,
receive our thanksgiving
as Jesus receives each of us in his embrace.
Feed us with hope now
so that we may continue our journey
of loving who we love
and seeking your just society
until all creation shines with your praise,
O God, through Christ, by your Spirit,
in the beloved community
now and forever.
Amen.

June 3, 2019

New Song: Christ Is Love in Word and Deed

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America held a song writing contest for its annual "God's Work. Our Hands." Sunday, a day of service in the community. I wrote this song for the contest. Mine was not selected, so now I can share it with the church.

If you would like to use this in worship, please contact me for permission and for proper attribution. I have a high quality tiff file I can send you for printing.

You can listen to a MIDI version of the song here.

Bonus prize if you can spot the Easter egg in the song.

Christ Is Love in Word and Deed 


Refrain:
Christ is love that loves to serve,
serves to live, lives to love.
Christ is love in word and deed.

God's grace is in our muscles,
hammers sounding out a call,
rakes and gloves reveal it now for all.
Refrain

Work is our gift and burden:
mend and fix, restore and heal,
kneading, cooking, sharing in a meal.
Refrain

Our lives are lived in wonder,
knowing we are loved and named,
laboring because in Christ we're claimed.
Refrain

Hands strive for Jesus' justice:
health and home for ev'ry one,
neighbors loved, the reign of Christ begun.
Refrain






May 18, 2019

This Whiteness


Grandfather could so smoothly
pour his evening whiskey and slur
an n-word or five during Lawrence Welk
before the gentle nod off
in his 1950’s recliner green

Aunt would teach school children
and love them so, she said,
even the little black ones,
she said, and still speak of them
diminutively, and of their parents
dismissively, and end the day
with a refreshing front porch lemonade

Some ancestor in Massachusetts
fought for abolition and justice
and spoke of prophets Amos and Jesus
but never imagined in her
white mind wrapped in razor wire
a fullness in blackness,
a greatness, a she and he empowered,
a liberation of herself from her white self

And here I am attentive but in white fog
of my own insolence and actions
my crossing the streets of Chicago
when young black men approach
when I see the protests and riots and think
if you would just…if you could only…
when I make every effort for my white sons

and even writing this poem
and even writing that previous line
cannot end it, this whiteness,
this inherited shame and shamelessness
this enfolding in my brain of what
we ourselves, by our fault,
by our own fault,
by our own most grievous fault,
have wrought, have clung to white-knuckled,
have ignored in our beloveds,
have so blithely pruned from family trees
and cannot prune from ourselves

May 15, 2019

Uncomposed


Three Musicians. Pablo Picasso

Uncomposed

I want to write a melody
that will ache your heart that will
sing the shards of you together
mismatched and misaligned flawlessly

aesthetic phrasing fashioned out
a buoyant sixth reaching up
a minor third dropping down
major sevenths harmonizing with you

lovely, more gorgeous than you thought
your musical life to be and then may I
beg, please sing it back to me
to my ache to my beauty to my dissonance

in our jazz I might discover why
God inscribed every
crying, awful, wondrous,
uncomposed note fixed in me