08 March 2011

Shrove Tuesday

A prayer/poem for Shrove Tuesday (in light of 1 Samuel 5) by Walter Brueggemann:

We remember the long dark nights of Ashdod;
     They were long because you stood
          in the Philistine place passively;
     They were dark because the gods of the Philistines
          seemed to prevail.
And now we face the long, dark days of Lent:
      to ponder your strange passivity,
      to hold deep the suffering of Jesus,
      to grasp afresh our fragile mortality, that we too will die;
      to move beyond ourselves to notice the raw loss
          connected to your absence.
We name the brutality among us;
We make the greed so close to us;
We see the poor, the homeless, the exploited,
          while we enjoy the easiness of the leisure class.
And then – dark and long – our eyes shift back to Ashdod;
      We wait, a heavy wait edging toward hope,
          not yet as light as hope,
          as heavy as absence.
We pray in the name of the crucified. Amen.

(from Awed to Heaven, Rooted in Earth: Prayers of Walter Brueggemann, Fortress Press, 2003)

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