Benedictions

i really do love liturgy…


ancient prayers, responsive readings, those things that bring the ancient into the modern. i’m always trying to find ways to weave those moments into services.

i picked up Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals  yesterday.

it’s one of those books you know will be precious to you as you hold the texture of the linen cover in your hand. 

each morning prayer starts with

O Lord, let my soul rise up to meet you

as the day rises to meet the sun.

I wanted to share 3 passages from the prayers for today.

“As we–by our prayers– vanquish all the demons that stir up war, and lead to the violation of oaths, and disturb the peace, we in this service are much more helpful to the kings than those who go into the field to fight for them.  None fight better for the king than we do.  We do not indeed fight under him, although he demands it; but we fight on his behalf, forming a special army of piety by offering our prayers to God.” Origen of Alexandria

 

Lord, what you call compassion, others call weakness.  What you call conviction, others call dissidence.  What you call love, others call mixing with sinners.  We pray that we too might be found weak, dissident and in bad company, especially if it means we are closer to you.  Amen

 

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you: wherever he may send  you; may he guide you through the wilderness: protect you through the storm; may he bring you home rejoicing: at the wonders he has shown you; may he bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

Advertisements

another Rob Bell benediction…


“So may you forgive as you’ve been forgiven, may you give to others what’s been given to you, may you set somebody free and find out that it was you, and may you do it today because you might not have the chance tomorrow”

from the Nooma video “Luggage”

i love benedictions…


benediction2

some of my favorite moments of worship come from some benedictions.  it’s like challenge and a blessing rolled into one.  i posted one of my favorites a week or so ago. the benedictions that they do at Ecclesia church in Houston are beautiful, broken and amazing.  our pastor does great benedictions every Sunday.  i love to hear great, well thought out ones.

the benedictions that speak the most to me are the ones that Rob Bell does on the Nooma series of videos.  he really has studied some cool rabbinical and early church writings so that his benedictions come in that vibe.  they are beautiful and traditional in their structure, yet very modern in the language and content.  he always sets up the benediction (what he leaves you with) with a question earlier in the teaching.  for this particular one i want to share with you from the video “Today”, the question is, “When you think of your life, what was the best time?”

he ends the video with these words…

May you accept the past for what it is.  May you celebrate what needs to be celebrated and grieve what needs to be grieved and then, may you receive from God a new spirit, one for here, now, today.

 

….i love that thought.  rejoice and mourn, but then receive what is in store for you today.

so today i thought i might….


hit you with some ancient prayer and maybe a benediction…

you know shake things up a bit.

st_francis_big

i love to read old prayers.  especially this one by Francis of Assisi.

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy;

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
 

i mean that says it all for me.  i love that

how bout we end this post with a benediction?

appropriately a Franciscan one.

A Franciscan Benediction

 

May God bless you with discomfort

At easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships

So that you may live deep within your heart

May God bless you with anger

At injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people,

So that you may work for justice, freedom and peace.

May God bless you with tears

To shed for those who suffer pain, rejection, hunger and war,

So that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and

To turn their pain into joy.

And may God bless you with enough foolishness

To believe that you can make a difference in the world,

So that you can do what others claim cannot be done

To bring justice and kindness to all our children and the poor.

Amen