Buy more butter … find words (a prayer for pastors)

Holy One,

My “to do” list ranges wildly.

Buy more butter
Finish knitting the thumb
Find time for secret errands
Mail packages
Get train arrival times on calendar

Confirm Christmas Eve readers
Finalize 4 more bulletins
Preach two more sermons
Check height of Advent candles
Remember where we put Baby Jesus

These are the outward manifestations of my attempts to be faithful
to my family
to my vocation
to you.

They all seem small this year.

Usually I undertake some discipline in Advent:
read a devotional or a book of poetry.

12/13/14 New York City
12/13/14 New York City, from Twitter via Facebook

This year, instead, I read the news of outrage
and protests. I scan social media for images and stories.

I hope for good news but prepare for disappointment
in the world
in people
in people who claim you
in people who look like me.

Where is the line, Lord,
the line between showing love
for those I treasure,
and ignoring the reality
of other mother’s children?

Somewhere between Amtrak and Amazon,
I fear.

You call preachers to describe that line.

It’s all there in the text,
the call to repent,
to release the prisoners,
to give sight to the blind,
and to warn the powerful.

I add to my list:
find words
words I need to say
words people can hear
words that proclaim justice
in your holy name.

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