Prayers for Redeemer

On this last day of 2017, which is also my next-to-last Sunday here with you, I want to say thank you for these fifteen months of ministry together. It’s been a true joy for me and it feels like it’s been a real good match. One of my youth minister colleagues said she felt like I had found my “sweet spot” here at Redeemer. So thank you.

Also, I want to invite you to consider what you have heard me preach during these last fifteen months. Although I have preached several different sermons, I’m wondering if you noticed a common theme or thread; or perhaps a particular message that you found especially pertinent to you or to this community. And if so, what is it?

Today, in the place of a sermon I would like to briefly summarize several of my sermons I have preached here by offering them as short prayers.

May we be open to the God of surprises.

May we pray with the feisty chutzpah of Habakkuk and the other Hebrew prophets, even if that includes complaining, kvetching and arguing with God.

May we all be saints (subversive agents inspiring nonviolent transformation), subverting structures of oppression.

May we read, mark, learn and inwardly digest our sacred Scriptures.

May we find our true freedom in our belovedness.

May we make room for others in the mansion of our hearts.

May we bask in our belovedness and be spiritually refreshed by the Word made flesh.

May we behold the Lamb of God and cast our nets wide.

May we live justly, love mercy and walk humbly with our God.

May we reconnect with our divine spark and see that same divine spark in others.

May we experience Christ through our five senses by listening to the wind, quenching our deepest thirst, seeing God in the mud and earth, aromatizing our prayers, and touching the Risen Christ within this community, the church, which is the Body of Christ.

May we pray boldly like Julian of Norwich and spend time in silent prayer each day, in the tradition of the 14th century author of the Cloud of Unknowing.

May we experience the Trinity by participating in the eternal circle dance (the perichoresis) of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit through prayer, worship and service.

May we let go of our old and violent images of God.

May we deepen our roots in the soil of the Psalms.

May we let the healing power of this community fall gently upon us like the dew of Mount Hermon upon the hills of Zion, like oil running down Aaron’s beard.

May we live up to our own individual names and fulfill our true callings as beautiful and colorful expressions of the divine rainbow.

May we live up to our collective name (Redeemer) by embodying the liberating love of God in San Rafael and the world.

May we cling to the Name above All Names: Yehoshua, which means “God is my Salvation.” The name of our Redeemer (“Jesus”) who empowers us all to be God’s beautiful Rainbow of Love in this world.

May we practice and cultivate the Beatitudes, the attitudes that help us be, attitudes that help us be fully present to the here and now, to the beauty and wonder of each moment and to our belovedness in God’s eyes so that we are free to be our true selves and become like those saints and poets, who realize life while living it, every minute.

May we be like the medieval German Professor Martin Luther and discover our deepest freedom (our eleutheria) in our belovedness and find a faith that is living, bold, daring and audacious.

May we continue to make room for others in the mansions of our hearts by opening ourselves up to wisdom from outside faith traditions as we did during this last Advent season, and as we prepared our hearts for the coming of the Christ child as well as for the next coming of Christ, who will come to this community in new, surprising and unexpected ways.

Once again, may we be open to the God of surprises. Amen.

2 thoughts on “Prayers for Redeemer”

  1. Thank you for all you have done for this little community. You will be missed. Continue to be filled with the fullness of God. My feeble prayers are yours. Peace…
    In Christ,
    and Francis,
    your brother

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