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Devotional and Poetry

There are some great books in Hope's downstairs library for spiritual considerations.  Feel free to browse and borrow.  Just sign the card on the inside of the cover or write a note.

Lutheran's Connect Devotional Website

In these challenging days, we are contemplating so much: holding the pain of brokenness and fear and uncertainty in seemingly ever-increasing amounts. How can we mark the journey with Jesus into the wilderness, amid the wildernesses that are confronting us in the world? How can prayer, reading, and quiet reflection, help us to know more vividly the ever-present love of God?
This Lent, we are considering the sixth day of Creation, when human beings were formed alongside the creatures of earth and sea, and given the gift of stewardship of that vast abundance. How do we hear the problematic word ‘dominion’ in an era of profound climate emergency? How can the instruction to ‘subdue’ the earth and its creatures be heard anew in a time when hundreds of species are going extinct every day?
During the next few weeks, we will reckon what has already taken place, the climate and ecological crises that won't be reversed. We will also travel to places in the world where people are finding ways to work with the earth instead of on it, developing and caring for plants and creatures as if the future of all of us did indeed depend on it.

 

These devotionals can be seen at:

Tending the Vineyard/Lutheran's Connect

Click here

Archived devotionals can be located at the right side of the site

 

Eternity For Today

Sign up here for the e-edition of this devotional series

https://elcic.ca/dailydevotions/sign-up.cfm

Click here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Barbara Brown Taylor - Finding God in the Faith of Others

 

Trembling

Rebecca Garber [April 15, 2021]

 

Let me tremble seeing the Divine wearing red

drumming the direct heart and body contact

 of love.

And make me dance joyfully, confidently

between and with the mysterious Sacred

while patiently dealing with the mundane

    leaning in to both the bitter and the sweet.

Help me release sadness and hurt from

past times, enabling many memories

to retreat into the back of my mind

freeing heart and mind, mind and heart

    to fully occupy eternity now.

Let me release traumas imbedded

within my very cells, so that they

no longer continuously replicate

as my body renews and replaces them.

 

Let me hear the release speak through

a wind chime tinkling in salty wind

 blowing across the Salish Sea

with its breath luxurious with seals

barking as they frolic and mate.

 

Let me revel as I move through times

of radical change, reveling in excitement

of embracing transformation, embracing

it without fear—always listening to one

particular bass voice singing

“I’ll be there as I was there

as I have always been to see

your life unfold”—holding a final surprise.

 

A POEM PRAYER

Rachel Srubas


Some days I prefer
to ignore your assurances,
pave my own path, lose my own way,
cross quicksand if I have to --
anything but
relinquish my will.
Remember the blistering, narcissistic desert,
the devil who taunted you there?
You know it well - the desire, the drive
to conceive and control, predict and prevail.
You, too, have wrestled the egoistic impulse,
the credit-hoarding greed of spirit
that flares within and keeps me,
on some days, from offering praise,
stops me from seeking your face
or following your excellent way.
I'm left to my echoing solitude,
murmuring my own name.
Jesus, teach me to pray. Lend me your hand,
Talk to me of forgiveness until
all my dear falsehoods fall way.
Mend the cracked compass of my mind,
and guide me to my true desire.
- "from Oblations: Meditations on St. Benedict's Rule,

 

How  the  Light  Shines

Trisha  Elliott

O  God,  I  know  that  there is  a  time  for everything:

a  time  to  help  and  a  time  to  refrain  from  helping,

a  time  to  leap  to  action  and  a  time  to  wait  patiently,

a  time  to  care  for others and  a  time  to  care for myself,

a  time  to  be  busy  and  a  time  to  rest,

a  time  to  make  decisions and  a  time  to  discern  a  direction,

a  time  to  speak and  a  time  to  listen,

a  time  to  name  wrongs  and  a  time  to  admit I’m  wrong,

a  time  to  seek  joy and  a  time  to  be  found  by it.

Please,  God,  instill in  me  the  wisdom  to  know  what  time  this is

and  help  me  make  the  most  of  it.  

 To You

Langston Hughes

To sit and dream, to sit and learn,
To sit and learn about the world
Outside our world of here and now ----
Our troubled world ----
To dream of vast horizons of the soul
Through dreams made whole,
Unfettered, free ---- help me!
All you who are dreamers, too,
Help me to make
Our world anew.
I reach out my dreams to you.

 

Drinking From  the  Saucer

​John Paul  Moore

I've  never  made  a fortune,

And I'll  never  make  one  now

But  it  really  doesn't  matter

'Cause  I'm  happy  anyhow

 

As  I go along my  journey

I'm  reaping better  than I've  sowed

I'm  drinking from  the  saucer

'Cause  my  cup has  overflowed

 

I don't  have  a lot  of  riches,

And sometimes  the  going's  tough

But  with kin and friends  to love  me

I think  I'm  rich enough

 

I thank  God for  the  blessings

That  His  mercy  has  bestowed

I'm  drinking from  the  saucer '

Cause  my  cup has  overflowed

He  gives  me  strength and courage

When the  way  grows  steep and rough

I'll  not  ask  for  other  blessings  

for I'm  already  blessed enough

May  we  never  be  too busy

To help bear  another's  load

Then we'll  all  be  drinking from  the  saucer

When our  cups  have  overflowed    

 

ONE SPIRITUAL JOURNEY

Rebecca Garber

 

you formed me in the image of your creativity

inflated my lungs with your love

made my ears turn to the human voice

my eyes focus on faces, my body respond to touch

you wrapped me in acceptance at my baptism

 

but as i grew, fear surrounded me and blurred my vision

shame blunted my senses and crippled my walk

 

i could not find you there leading me

walking beside me, pushing me from behind

 

instead of looking outward, trusting good

fully inhabiting my body, i moved into the

isolation of my mind, turned my back on possibility

 

fear became a swirling fog

and i could not find my way

its thick darkness the companion that left me lonely

frozen ground upon which i stumbled

fell, and curled my arms around myself

losing hope, caving in, giving up

 

you fed me with bits of bread and wine

word—words of love, of safety, of enough

though i could only hear

the inner voices saying otherwise

 

you waited while i wandered in my wilderness

frozen, unable to think, to move, to want

except in lightning flashes of relief, kind faces

and one strong hand holding on, saying

i will stay, i will not leave, will not give up on you

 

bits of bread dropped in the dark led me back

eaten on my knees, salted with my tears

seasoned by my own sweat until day

slowly dawned in that bright white

intensity holding all possible colours

black earth aromatic, warming in the sun

welcoming my bare feet into a sacred dance

imprinted in my very DNA, my heart knowing

that all shall be well, all shall be well indeed

 

                                       

HEALING FROM INTERNALIZED OPPRESSION

Eileen Garcia

 

I watched the Black Lives Matter Movement with mixed feelings.

 

After all, I came to Canada to embrace "white privilege". It is not fun to be part of a hated minority, to have your kin murdered or otherwise assaulted by an empowered black majority, even if you do understand the roots of their hatred and have supported their cause. Hatred may live on, even when the power structures change.

 

Living in a prejudiced environment and being the target of prejudice because of race, gender, handicap, sexual orientation, culture etc. is demoralizing at best and, at worst, it may completely destroy a person's capacity to love. Social rejection, and even hatred, may be part of the formative years. Reactive anger may become an imbedded part of the victim’s personality. Living with hatred damages the brain and the capacity to trust.

 

People who do not understand may say, "Why can't you just get over it?" The answer is that the assault on your person continues, imbedded in the social structures. It does not go away, even if you try to live exclusively in your minority's world. Unconscious insult is there whenever you pick up a book, turn on the T.V. or go for a walk. Even if hostility is absent, the victim’s necessary state of hyper-vigilance may trigger hostility as a passerby senses the anxious energy.

 

Yet letting down your guard can mean losing your life. Hyper-vigilance is exhausting. Suicide is common among hated minorities. Those who are strong in love may have to make the first move towards friendship and seek to understand the social walls that oppress. This can be hard work and requires patience. Even when there is no threat, it is hard to change a lifetime of habits.

 

The oppressed person may be perceived as "over-reactive". The “oppressor” may move or speak in a way which is natural to those in power and trigger fear. People become tired of having to reassure, they move on to easier company, thus reenforcing the victim’s identity as outcaste. Most people prefer the comfort of the very familiar, nothing changes.

 

In order to become part of changing prejudices, well-meaning individuals have to become aware of their own patterns and how patterns inter-lock. Fear of rejection may trigger rejection. Hidden anger may trigger revulsion. Recognizing and accepting these feelings and staying through uncomfortable situations may be difficult, but it is the only road to growth. Is there anything to be gained beyond greater justice and peace?

 

People who have been members of hated minorities can bring numerous gifts to a receptive community. The hypersensitivity which assured their survival may mean sensitivity to your unspoken need. They may be unusually creative or spiritual or tough. Once trust is built one is free to enjoy the gifts and limitations that come in any loving, reciprocal relationship. How do I as an outcaste help myself?

 

I sit daily with an image of Jesus and meditate on the word "Beloved". I rehearse in my mind beautiful memories. I sing Hymns and love songs to myself, write poetry and do some art. Nature heals me, loving friends help. Yet even now a small act of hostility or prejudice may trigger old tapes. I must work very hard to calm my old survival brain. I may need time out, but it does get easier.

 

I am also a victimizer by my own prejudices. How do I help to bring greater justice to others? I work to be aware of the beliefs and practices which automatically support me but which keep others in places of inferiority and injustice and I seek to change these. I will experience loss, but I believe Love is worth the effort. Recognizing and embracing my own places of powerlessness and fatigue can bring me into solidarity with those held less by society.

 

Old age can be an invitation to greater solidarity with, and compassion towards, those who endure a lifetime of rejection and disempowerment. If victims of racism and other forms of oppression united we would likely find ourselves in the majority. If we who are prejudiced against others would gather, I think we would find we had collected every human being and perhaps many animals. May we learn to love one another, one day at a time.