Prayers for Pastors, Reflectionary

When we come down again (a prayer for pastors)

Holy One,

We have been to the high places,
the extreme edges of bliss,
the far reaches of where-to-find-you,
the mind-bending moments of truth,
the spill of something ineffable,
the fragrance of words-can’t-describe.

We have been there,
most of us, once
(or twice – the three-plus
attenders being mystics),
if that. Some
still wait for a trip
to the mountaintop.

We felt
scared
delighted
relieved
faint
perplexed
joyful
unnerved.

We said things,
possibly laughable.

And then it was over.
The moment passed.
The brightness dimmed.
Clothes, faces, sounds
returned to normal.
file-feb-25-8-12-51-pm

I guess You know
we need You even more
when we come down again.

Please, be with us,
down here on the ground,
where we need healing,
and truth-telling,
and a way to make You real
to those who need You most.

Please.

For Christ’s sake. Amen.

Prayers for Pastors, Transfiguration

Transfiguration (a prayer for pastors)

St. Pete Beach Sunset
St. Pete Beach Sunset

I’ll admit it, Holy One.

I struggle with this story.
I struggle with it,
and what it means.
I definitely struggle with
how to preach it,
year in, year out.
I grapple with the idea
not of what light once was
but of what we have made it,
not a gift from you to help us see,
or a means of sorting out order from chaos,
but as a badge of superiority,
an ID of supremacy.
It’s more than a metaphor now;
we have given it literal power.
A brown man with his brown friends
climbed a mountain,
saw historic figures
and recognized them,
suddenly looked brighter,
with clothes whiter than bleach
could make them,
and I could argue for
a spotlight effect
or something,
but in truth,
we’ve made the narrative
of light v. darkness
so sick,
it’s hard to do.
Yet it seems to be true
that your light
wherever it shines
puts things in focus
makes us able to see
better, even clearly,
for the first time
what matters.
In this season
of argument and fear,
help us to see
better, even clearly,
what matters now
(what always matters):
safety from violence
enough to eat
clean water
for all children
for all people
wherever they live.