I really relate to Abraham falling on his face.
I don’t think that has anything to do with the pandemic but the simple fact that I’m always tripping over myself. I am my own worst critic. I am endlessly hard on myself for things that I have said and done. I always believe I can do better. I want to be better. I’m not sure how to be better this Lent. I still haven’t landed on what this season needs to be for me but I relate to Abraham with his face in the dirt.
Of course, I don’t want to just be a better version of myself. I want a better world than the one that exploded into this new year with riots and protests and more death. There has been so much death. I believe we can be better. These prayers lean into that hope even if I have dirt on my face.
Call to Worship Do not be afraid. It was what we come together to worship and praise to remember. We do not need to fear. It is the encouragement we are given through angels and visions. Do not be afraid. Here, we come to tell the truth. We have been afraid. We've feared so much in this past year for ourselves for people of color, immigrants and refugees for the common good and the goodness of people. We have been in awe of how terrible things could get and felt like we couldn't do anything to change the arrogance and hate that overpowered our hope. Today, we come to hope. We come to put that horror behind us and lean into the possibility of what will be in the days ahead. We come to worship the One who makes all things new and assures us again and again not to be afraid.
Prayer of Confession Inspired by Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16 and Mark 8:31-38 O God, we need to feel your presence behind us as much as we need to know you are leading us forward. We need you behind us to encourage us and push us forward for if you are not there, we will drag our feet and refuse to move. We have wondered so much this year about what our lives are worth. Masks have covered our nose and mouth because we believe that others have worth but if we are honest, O God, we haven't found our own worth. We have been scared by unknown particles and airborne germs and we have felt so human. We have been so aware of our humanity and all of its limitations so that we haven't really allowed ourselves to see beyond this moment. We are just trying to get through this disaster so that we can think of blessings and other such divine things. We are wrong, O God. We need to feel your push square in the center of our backs to dream and wonder and believe that there will be more than this. Get behind us and push us toward the fruitfulness of tomorrow. We pray in your hope. Amen.
I don’t feel ready yet to write an affirmation. I want to but I haven’t yet found the words. So, that’s all I’ve got for you this week so far, dear pastors.
I am praying for you. I am praying for you, as always.