The Untried Melody

I will sing a new song.
I must learn the new song for the new needs
I must fashion new words born of all the new growth in my life – of my mind – of my spirit.
I must prepare for new melodies that have never been mine before,
That all that is within me may lift my voice unto God.

How I love the old familiarity of the wearied melody,
How I shrink from the harsh discords of the new untried harmonies.

Teach me, my Father, that I might learn with the abandonment and enthusiasm of Jesus,
The fresh new accent, the untried melody,
to meet the need of the untried morrow.

 (Howard Thurman)

This is a favourite prayer of mine (because I love to sing and the imagery appeals). Also it reflects my experiences of ministry so far. There have been so many transitions to live through with my congregation in such a short time and I have learned new songs for the new needs.

Sometimes I long for a period of stability – to have time for a melody to get wearied! But maybe it is better to be kept on my toes, to expect the unexpected in the dawn of the untried morrow?

Picture is ‘st cuthbert’s cross’ by Jonny Baker on Flickr

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Easter blessings

If you were not risen,
Lord Christ, to whom would we go
to discover a radiance
of the face of God?

If you were not risen,
we would not be together
seeking your communion.
We would not find in your presence
forgiveness,
wellspring of a new beginning.

If you were not risen,
where would we draw the energy
for following you
right to the end of our existence,
for choosing you again and anew?

Brother Roger of Taize

A prayer for Tuesday after Holy Week and Easter, for all those who now draw breath and seek rest and renewal.

Those of you following the blog will know that Lent, Holy Week and Easter have happened without me this year. It has been strange observing rather than participating in worship.

It has been a virtual journey through the season for me, following Lenten blogs and observing how others have prepared and participated through their postings on social networking sites.

I have especially enjoyed the posts and comments on Revgalblogpals blogspot and on their Facebook page. And I have stored away some ideas for next Easter. Thanks ladies (and gents too) for creating sacred space in the blogsphere.

After nearly three months of coughing – day and night –  it seems to have eased off at last over the past week or so and I am beginning to feel human again! My residual worry is the effect all this coughing has had on my voice which is still rather hoarse, so your prayers for this are appreciated – for obvious reasons!

A belated happy Easter to all, especially the bloggers and posters who have shared the journey with me – without even knowing it 🙂

(Photo taken in the Lake District by the Husband)

He will walk

Palm Sunday… Lent ends and Holy Week Begins.

And to take us through this week, a wonderful meditation from The Wild Goose Resource Group . I adapted it slightly a couple of years back for my voice and spit it into parts.

This is my Holy Week post as I am away and the internet access is painfully slow,

He will walk
A little in front of us
Towards Jerusalem.

He will not be scared
Though we are apprehensive.

If we try to discourage Him
He will recognise the Devil in our voice.
And He will tell us as much
In no uncertain terms.

Then He will go on again,
In faith,
Towards Jerusalem.

He will walk
A little in front of us,
Into controversy.

He will be scared
Though we are apprehensive.
He will argue with the intelligent,
Stop the self-assured in their tracks

He will touch the scabby.
He will upset bank balances by his outlandish behaviour in the sanctuary,
He will weep in public.

Then He will go on again,
In faith
Towards Jerusalem.

He will walk
A little way in front of us
Into Gethsemane

He will not hold back
Though we are apprehensive.

He will sweat blood
He will ask God if there is another way.

And when God says no,

He will take the traitor’s kiss,
The soldiers’ spit
The vile and venom from the princes of religion.

Then He will go on again,
In faith,
Towards the cross.

He will walk
A little in front of us
Towards Calvary.

He will not turn back
No, he will not turn back
He will feel the pain
Of wood and nails;

But more than this He will feel the weight
Of all the evil,
All the malice,
All the pettiness,
All the sin of the world
Heaped upon His shoulders.

He will not throw off the weight,
Though he could.

He will not give back evil for evil.
He will not return malice for malice.
He will not take revenge on the petty-minded
Or spew out hate on all who have despised or rejected Him.

He will not give back the sin of the world,
He will take it away…
Into death, into hell,
So that He can lead us to heaven.

Then He will go on again,
In faith,
Towards the resurrection.

He will walk
A little behind us,
Through the graveyard.

And he will wait
Until we realise that He has died
Until we admit our complicity in His life’s ending.

Then He will come up behind us,

He will say our name,
So that we can be His,
Forever.

New life…

God of spring time

as the frost melts

and the trees bud

may I cross over

from darkness to light

from grumbling to appreciation

from hesitating to striding

from boredom to creativity

from looking down to gazing up

from indifference to your Passion

from chill to warmth and love

in this world and the next.

(found here on beautyfromchaos)

Picture is ‘new life’ by Jonny Baker on Flickr

letting go…

Some prayerful thoughts for Wednesday about letting go of our most human failings:

Lord – let our memory
provide no shelter
for grievance
against another.
Lord – let our heart
provide no harbour
for hatred of another.
Lord – let our tongue
be no accomplice
in the judgement of a brother.

Amen

(Northumbrian Office)

Photo is ‘desert waterfall’ by Joshua Cripps found here. If you subscribe to this wonderful site they send you a photo every day with its story.

meaning in the waiting…

Kneeling – a poem about waiting. very appropriate as Lent draws to a close.

Moments of great calm,
Kneeling before an altar
Of wood in a stone church
In summer, waiting for the God
To speak; the air a staircase
For silence; the sun’s light
Ringing me, as though I acted
A great rôle. And the audiences
Still; all that close throng
Of spirits waiting, as I,
For the message.
Prompt me, God;
But not yet. When I speak,
Though it be you who speak
Through me, something is lost.
The meaning is in the waiting.

 R. S. Thomas,

Hold tight…

A snatch of liturgy for Friday from Cheryl at holdthisspace…  posted for everyone who is having a difficult time at the moment… hold tight

battle-scarred and tired
we watch you lift yourself
again
into the hardness of today

the cliches sit on the edge of our
tongue
left unspoken
in respect for their futility
and your new hard won wisdom

hold tight
we whisper
a prayer for ourselves
as much as you

hold tight

(Picture was taken by no1 daughter of no2 daughter at Culzean Castle park)