Our Hope (a prayer for pastors and everyone else)

On the way home from Thanksgiving,
we passed a white church,
with that sign you sometimes see,
“We preach Christ crucified.”
And usually I smugly comment,
*I* preach Christ resurrected.
So I did.

***

But as the road continued to bend,
as we moved from strip malls
where we stopped for coffee,
to park land we admired,
to cornfields seemingly unending,
to the crossroads where
a young Amish man stood
on an old-school Segway,
a primitive chariot,
pulled by horses
dragging a sledge of hay,
I thought about that sign.

***

Crucified, resurrected,
Jesus, those are both ways
you leave us,
moments that disconnect you,
take you down into the dark of death,
or raise you beyond our limits,
beyond our capacity to touch and know.

***

We preach christ incarnate
Not an actual church sign.

I need to preach Christ incarnate,
I thought,
touchable, knowing, enfleshed.
What other hope do we have?
Is our hope in forgiveness
of the long lists of wrongs
done by us, done to us?
Is our hope in the vision
of life renewed,
or life beyond this world?
How do these hopes help us
in a season of darkness,
of grieving our losses,
despairing of our future,
identifying our wrongs
against God and each other?

***

We need the embodied God
who walked the earth
who healed the lame
who ate with sinners
who told his stories
and electrified the crowds
but alarmed the authorities
and turned the world upside down
without wielding a sword,
or carrying a gun,
whose life was an action,
political and spiritual,
but most of all human.

***

We need you, Jesus.
You are our hope,
then and now.
O come,
God-with-us.
Amen.

6 thoughts on “Our Hope (a prayer for pastors and everyone else)

  1. Pingback: Expect Something New: Do Not Be Afraid – First Presbyterian Church of San Anselmo

  2. Pingback: Wir sagen Euch an den lieben Advent | Me + Richard Armitage

  3. Pingback: A New Hope | Glass Overflowing

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