Saturday, March 19, 2011

a prayer before bed

No Newness Yet
You are the God who makes all things new.
We gladly raise our voices and move our lips
to acknowledge, celebrate, and proclaim
your staggering newness.
As we do, we hold in our hearts
deep awareness of all the places where your newness is not visible
and has not come.
Our hearts link to many places of wretchedness
short of your newness.
We picture our folks at home,
sick, in pain, disabled, paralyzed.
and no newness yet.
We know up close the deep wretchedness
of poverty, of homelessness, of hunger
and no newness yet.
Move our hearts closer to the passion of our lips.
Move our lips closer to your newness.
Work your newness in hidden, cunning ways among us.
Move us closer to your bodied newness in Jesus,
newness of strength come in weakness,
newness of wisdom come in foolishness.
Draw us from the wretchedness we know
to his scarred, bloody wretchedness
that is your odd entry of newness into our life.
We pray in the name of his suffering newness.

--Walter Brueggemann

"Work your newness in hidden, cunning ways among us." I love that. It's such a bold prayer. Bold and needed. Do you ever ask yourself why you do bold things? For example, find yourself praying bold prayers? Lately I've been thinking about the relationship between truth and boldness. I think that we are able to live boldly what we believe to be true--or, even, risk boldly what we have faith to believe is true and hope for. Life demands these sorts of prayers, doesn't it?A crying out to God for creative entry into our lives to heal, put back together, and mend that which is unsettled, old, and crusty. And please, Lord, do it with cunning, because we know ourselves. We find ourselves believing lies and forgetting to hope, so we acknowledge that your newness must be introduced with creative care; in ways that we might not even know we need. This is our confession: we need the larger vision. We need your larger vision of newness because we are caught in places of "no newness yet" and we hope for the restoration that will find its way into our lives and the lives of those around us. You make all things new. And we think of Japan, so broken, burned, and drowned. You make all things new. And we're reminded of old, lost, and distant relationships. You make all things new. And we are too tired to think but we will get up tomorrow to live another day; to interact with so many people. You make all things new. And here's a picture of a little girl across the world with whom my heart is mysteriously connected, because I happen to live a life that has provided me with much "more" than her... Yes, "Work your newness in hidden, cunning ways among us."

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