Pandemic Prayers for Proper 25

A blind beggar started to shout and they silenced him. They ordered him to be quiet. I don’t know why that is jumping out at me right now. Is it that I have been silenced so many times as a woman? Or is it that I haven’t felt that I have spoken enough? I haven’t used my power and might to speak out for the things that matter. I could always do more.

That’s my baggage. Maybe not yours. Still, it leaps off the page to me. I love these healing stories for their fantastic imagery. Even in Mark’s brevity, there is this wild gesture of throwing off his cloak. There’s that voice that gets louder over the silence and so many great little nuggets from Jesus. Take heart. What if that was literal? What if we held each other’s hearts so close? Or even our own?

What do you want me to do for you, Jesus asks. Ooooh boy. Do you have a minute? Let me tell you about some things Jesus. I’m not sure you really know what you are asking but of course you do. Of course, you do.

Call to Worship
Inspired by Mark 10:46-52

What do you want me to do for you?
We've heard this question so many times 
before too often forgetting it is an invitation 
to heal. We come to hear it now
as broken people blinded
by racism and poverty.
There is so much that 
we refuse to see 
and so much 
God needs
us to see.

We come to find
healing and redemption
not just for ourselves but
for this whole broken world. 
We come with urgency for all that has 
happened and all that still needs to happen
and we feel powerless to change anything. 
We come to find faith in ourselves and 
in the one who dares to ask us such impossible questions
as, What do you want me to do for you?

Unlike the past couple of weeks, I actually wrote a whole new prayer for this Sunday but I always feel like I’m cheating you by only offering one lousy prayer. I’m a wee bit shocked I have nothing in my archives inspired by Psalm 126. I love this psalm. How is this possible? Here is an adaptation of Psalm 126 to close worship. I rediscovered these Living Psalms as I prepared to preach a few weeks ago and I just love them. Do you have a favorite collection of paraphrases of psalms? I’m always looking for more.

I know you’re all busy planning well beyond this Sunday and into the season of Advent. I’m working on some resources with the amazing Jo Owens of Vibrant Church Communications. Jo just released her Simple Gratitude Bundle for Thanksgiving. You should definitely check it out here. If you’re looking beyond Thanksgivings, there are some liturgies and group studies in my kitchen that might help your planning. Or if you can wait, you’ll be super excited to see what will come into your inbox in my very occasional liturgy-filled email. You can sign up here.

I am praying for you, dear pastors, liturgists and musicians. I’m praying for you so much.