unsplash, Andrew Neel
WITH my glasses off
the thing I think I know
becomes indistinct and fresh.
A deer’s tail becomes a great white feather.
A distant tree, a man by the roadside hailing me.
When I run without my lenses
the world slips out of bounds
and newness emerges
like angels in our midst.
Since we are surrounded, cloud-like, by such witnesses,
can we see a little less clearly, Lord?
Can we lay aside our sharpened judgments
for some new appraisal of the scene?
And could the thing we think we know and want
emerge as something unimagined
but vivid clear to fuzzy sight?
photo: Unsplash, Tiko giorgadze
HOW good and pleasant it is
for brothers and sisters to dwell together in unity!
So the psalmist says
and we believe it could be so,
though our glimpses of such goodness and pleasantness
are scant and near mythical.
Yet we long to live together –
to see as you see
and love as you love –
until our funhouse mirror of a creation
reflects your giddy desire
that we should all be one.
UNITY is a derivative of what we want.
What we want is wholeness, health, salvation.
What we want is to be able to unfold in your presence
to let shadows fall out into light.
What we want is to be seen and known.
What we want is the source and end of our wanting.
Then all these things will be added unto us,
Unity not excepted.
Prayer for April 5
For a fire we would spark together
but which only now flickers in our withered imaginations,
For a blaze that warms
and does not lay waste,
For the hearth we would gather around
and admire the way a fine light dances in each other’s eyes,
For a way forward
on a Word-lit path,
For a fire in winter, Lord,
we pray. Amen.
We dream a frame that can contain
a picture that is us.
Our self-constructed models are too dangerous,
They break and injure when we try to force the glass.
We’ve made them far too large.
We need a frame the size of a child,
a cherished one,
which You alone can give.
The Virginia Conference leadership in the global prayer cycle for the United Methodist Church’s Commission on a Way Forward and for unity continues…
Prayer for April 3 Conference Day of Prayer
In a season of discernment,
as your Church, in which we have met you,
meets across divides,
as a Commission confers on A Way Forward,
as we hunger for a way beyond our walls,
Pour out your Spirit, as we say,
on us gathered here.
By your Spirit, we say,
make us one with Christ,
one with each other,
and one in ministry to all the world.
Until, in your Spirit,
the blurred and blinding chaos
of this broken world and Church
resolves into a feast
and you are host and Lord. Amen.
This week the Virginia Conference of the United Methodist Church will be taking the lead in a denomination-wide week of prayer for A Way Forward. I’ll be sharing some of the conference prayer resources for the week, some of which came out of my Thousand Prayers for Unity Project. As the commission helps us deal honestly with our divides over human sexuality and the desire to go forward together as a church that finds a God greater than our divisions and inclusive of all people, let us pray.
Prayer for April 2 by Bishop Sharma D. Lewis
Eternal God, you promised in your Word, “…do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God…”
O God, I release my worries and concerns about the future of our denomination.
O God, I choose the discipline of prayer to seek your direction in all matters of life.
O God, I intercede on behalf of the 32 members on the Commission on a Way Forward. Grant them peace and clarity in their moments of study, dialogue and reflection.
O God, I thank you for each member that was chosen for their love, commitment, gifts and graces they bring to The United Methodist Church.
O God, grant them wisdom, and guidance as they seek your face about the future of our denomination.
Lord in your mercy. Hear my prayer.