“We don’t have school tomorrow,” she said,
“It’s ‘Black Friday.’”
I smiled (almost laughing),
then the young girl realized her mistake.
“I mean ‘Good Friday;’”
she corrected herself, and I smiled again.
Little did she know how right she was the first time.
We connect with you
Having eaten at your table
Having remembered the Last Supper
Having sung of the tragedy that follows.
We are grateful for you, and
Your embodied work in history
Your servant leadership among the disciples
And the grace of God made more accessible through you
We recognize the love that is in you
Love in hospitality
Love in bread and wine
Love in serving others
This is our prayer to you.
Hear our prayer, O Divine Mercy
Have mercy on us, help us be faithful
And look to Christ for life anew.
Hear our prayer, Christ of Compassion
We pray, Christe eleison
O, help us to walk in ways of mercy
And receive mercy in return
Hear our prayer, O God Most Loving
Have mercy on us, help us be loving
And help us reconcile with you
This prayer can be sung to the tune of “Jesus Walked This Lonesome Valley”
I saw winter pass away, and I caught a glimpse of Spring, did you?
Did you see the daytime light linger into evening?
Did you experience weightless delight
upon seeing the buds of new life?
Were you struck with a moment of wonder when
you realized the grass returned from soggy,
tattered tan to brilliant shades of green?
Did you drink the warmer air,
inhale the floral scent of Spring,
and let the springtime sunlight dance upon your skin?
Did you catch a glimpse of Spring?
I caught a glimpse of Spring, now hidden beneath snow.
A season chilled and challenged to
save its treasures, persevere, and offer hope again.
The cold air scared the springtime breeze,
The frost and snow covered brilliant greens,
And now beneath this wintery blanket
plant life trembles, shivers, and shrinks.
But the texts of seasons passed do say it will be so
That winter’s snowy tomb will indeed roll away, and
The passing of winter will reveal Spring’s gifts of life and light.
I caught a glimpse of new life, did you?
God, it seems there is always a deadline, a destination, a driving force that accounts for our hurried lives; and we hold onto impatience, anxiety, depression, and stress far too often. O God, we confess that we charge ahead, when body, mind, and soul beg us to “slow down.” So we ask, God: help us slow down.
Oh, it can be so hard to slow our determined, hurried pace. Sometimes crowds force us to slow down, and we respond with frustration or anger. Sometimes art makes us slow down and engage our senses more fully. Then again, sometimes the crowd and the art come together, like the crowd that met Jesus as he rode into Jerusalem and the art of singing and dancing “Hosanna!”