Go out in joy

frances

By John August Swanson

A litany for worship adapted from St. Francis’ “Canticle of the Sun” and related Scripture texts

By Ken Sehested

What is it you wish to know, oh mortal one?

Do you think you must ascend to the highest heaven or descend to the deepest pit?

Do you not know that Wisdom has pitched a tent in your midst?

Ask the four-legged, and they will mentor you, or the winged-of-air, and they will school you;

Or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish of the sea inform you.

Who does not know that the Gracious Host has done this?

In the Blessed One’s reach is the heart of every creature, the breath of every living thing.

Brother Sun declares the Beloved’s glory. His voice goes out o’er all the earth, his words to every inhabited place.

Sister Moon and stars pour forth speech to brighten the night in splendor and counsel.

Now hear the blessed promise of old, made new in your hearing:

May you go out in joy and be led back in peace, the hills bursting in song, the trees in applause!˙

©ken sehested @ prayerandpolitiks.org, adapted from Job 12:7-10, Psalm 19:1-4, Psalm 97:6, Isaiah 55:12 and St. Francis of Assisi’s “Canticle of the Sun”

Prayer for a Blue Day

candleBy Dee Dee Risher

Oh God, I wake up to weather
in this world you created whole and intricate
and I think how it matters;
How sun, season, gray or blue
can turn my heart. Such a little
and a cosmic thing.

And I ponder that in a world of agony,
small things—heat, cold, fleas, dust,
broken appliances—
cause me more emotion than
true tragedies and losses;
earthquakes and floods
elsewhere.
Sometimes I live so small. Continue reading

Sister Anna: A litany for worship inspired by the Prophetess Anna

index

Rembrandt, “The Prophetess Anna”, 1639

By Ken Sehested

Sister Anna. Last-named prophet in Holy Writ, more
likely listed among household property and livestock.

When did your Temple-dwelling vocation begin?
What sustained your twenty-four-seven vigil
for all those years? Continue reading

Bread of Heaven

indexBy Katerina Friesen

Lord of the harvest, Grain-sower, Bread-giver, Life-sustainer:

We are astounded by your bounteous love, filled to the brim

with good things. You give us enough, and then some!

Bread of Life, we love You. Though You were pounded down,

You rose up again, broken so all may be fed.

Breath of Heaven, Spirit of All-Things-New,

with You, we are carried through the fire and we rise up,

we rise up again! So we praise Your name, Holy Trinity of Love.

Holy Light

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Photo by Erinn Fahey

By Nancy Sehested

Holy Light,

We stand somewhere in the shadows, in-between the battlefield of our struggles and the sanctuary of our souls.

Shed a little light on our way. Keep your lighted sanctuary within us portable, able to see clearly, to walk courageously, to withstand the forces that corrupt the truth of our belonging to your one world-wide family.  Continue reading

Choose Life

20180713_100030By Katerina Friesen

Praising/ Adoring
We are Your field, O Lord,
and we praise You as Your planting, the work of Your hands!
We praise You for Your watchful eye,
for the way You bend over us and smile
as we grow from tender stems to ripe harvest,
for giving us rain and sun in due season.
We praise You because You never give up on us,
but coax new life from barren ground again and again.
We are Your field, O Lord,
and we praise You as Your planting, the work of Your hands!

Affirming Faith
Voices 1: We will not bow down to serve other gods:
the gods of war, the gods of greed, the gods who destroy the Earth.
Voices 2: We will not bow down to the gods of racism,
to gods who make us feel either inferior or superior,
to gods who do not love us, but demand our devotion.
All: We choose life!
Voices 1: We choose to serve the God of Abraham, and Isaac,
the God of Sarah and Rebecca, of Mary and of Jesus,
Voices 2: We choose to serve the God of our ancestors in faith,
of Paul and Lydia, of Menno Simons and Margaretha Sattler,
of Vincent and Rosemarie Harding.
All: We choose life! We will hold fast to the Lord, the God of life.

Sending
God has set before us today life and death. Let us continue
to walk in God’s way, assured that our ancestors walk before us,
that Christ walks with us, and that the Spirit binds us together
and helps us to choose life.