Prayers for Pastors

a God-shaped mystery (a Trinity Sunday prayer for pastors)

I fear I do not explain You well.

I get the pronouns wrong
when I speak of You;
somehow an “all” creeps in,
suggesting three separate
entities, functions, realities.

The intellectual approach –
(explanations of doctrine,
refutations of heresies,
the specialties of some Internet guy)
feels flat to me:
a demand that truth be granted
and no questions be asked
does not turn a hard concept
into metaphysics, much less poetry.

It seems like a God-shaped mystery
should be felt, not reasoned:
a heavenly triad in three voices;
a sumptuous braid of silk ropes;
a fidget spinner blurred to a circle.

Yet all my analogies fail the test.

Perhaps I am an inevitable heretic,
trying too hard to get it right.

Is it enough to feel awed
by how You loved us into being,
and how You became one of us,
and how You are always on the move?

I hope so.

Amen.

Prayers for Pastors

When You Keep Me Up at Night (a Trinity Sunday prayer for pastors)

When You keep me up at night, I wonder what it’s like to be You, Your Selves, One Self, and whether my middle-of-the-night meanderings are illuminated by You or illuminating to me or simply heretical attempts at understanding who You are and what You have done and who You will be as time unspools.

Do You truly never change? Do You care if I capitalize You? Are the rules humans make, the denominational legislative efforts and the unwritten local practices, are they anything close to an expression of Your will? Your mercy? Your dream for humankind?

Do You lie awake and wonder about me, about us, the way a parent does about a grown child? Are You a Friend, praying for a friend? Do You groan wordless prayers, inexplicit, laden with longing?

In the middle of the night, perhaps, I am not theologically astute, articulate, but I am accompanied. That much I know. And I thank you for it. I thank You for it.

Prayers for Pastors

Dog-lover, Knitter, Baseball Fan (a Trinity Sunday prayer for pastors)

One of these things is not the other, but all are one.
One of these things is not the other, but all are one.

Dear God,
Dear Jesus,
Dear Holy Spirit –

I have a sense of You:
One and Three,
but sometimes more Two,
or None-of-the-Above.

How to explain it?

I use a construction
invented by others:

Creator
Redeemer
Sustainer

I hope it suffices.

I seek time to wonder,
to ponder,
but my own roles
complicate things.

Wife
Mother
Pastor

Writer
Friend
Dreamer

Dog-lover
Knitter
Baseball Fan

Each has its modes,
its complications,
its subordinate clauses.

Dear God,
Dear Jesus,
Dear Holy Spirit –

You are

Creator
Parent
Maker
Originator
Generator
Designer

Redeemer
Savior
Shepherd
Lamb
Teacher
Friend

Sustainer
Wind
Fire
Inspirer
Instigator
Provocateur

Dear God,
Dear Jesus,
Dear Holy Spirit –

Help me say things
that communicate You,
all Three, yet One. Amen.