Pandemic Prayers for Proper 24

I remember the last time this passage from Job popped up in the Revised Common Lectionary. I remember thinking that the whirlwind was how I felt then. I wish I didn’t still feel that now.

Still, I went looking for that prayer. You can find the original here paired with another bit from the Gospel of Mark. I’ve adapted it here for this week’s lections. I’m sharing it with another from Transfiguration Sunday earlier this year which I really didn’t adapt at all. I like it just as it is even if it doesn’t quite fit.

I remember too what it felt like to write these words and imagine the space at home that we were all were before in-person worship became a possibility. It isn’t for all of us still and so this prayer still speaks to the hope some of us carry in the same four walls we have spent so much time in the past two years. (Is it two years yet?! My my.)

Call to Worship
Inspired by 2 Kings 2:1-12

Stay here.
It has been a whirlwind
of confusion and wonder
but you are here. 
You are right here
in this place 
where nothing 
and everything will happen. 

Stay here.
Right here 
in this very room 
where life has unfolded
is now where God will be.
God was always here.

God never left.
God has always
been right here
with you. You have 
wanted to wander. 
You have wanted to be 
anywhere but here
but stay. Here we 
will be great. Stay 
and find God
is here again. 

A Prayer for the Whirlwind
Inspired by Mark 10:35-45 and Job  38:1-11

O God, it has been 
a whirlwind. We have 
felt caught up in the storm
of change. We thought the surge
had calmed only to be hit by 
another front. We thought glory would come
but it has not and we are so impatient.

O God, we really thought there
was nothing we couldn't do 
and maybe we only needed to ask you
for help but we were wrong. 
We are learning so much
about our limitations.
We thought we had 
the wisdom we needed
but never really understood 
how much we needed
you to lay the foundations
for what will come. 

O God, remind us 
again what it means 
to be a servant to
your hope. Stretch your 
hand out to us again 
and encourage us
to choose your wisdom
over our own. Help us
to rely on your grace
more than our own counsel.
May every one of our questions
and doubts lead back to
your good grace. Amen.

That’s all I’ve got for this particular Sunday but I am faithfully working on a round-up of Advent and Christmas ideas to be shared in News from My Kitchen that will be further delayed because o of the amazing things that Jo Owens of Vibrant Church Communications and I are cooking up for Advent. It’s also why you’re seeing edited prayers rather than new ones. I took on a few too many projects right now. Oops. It’s good though. It’s good to have things to share in and people to good people to ponder big ideas with. I am grateful.

If you’re eager to order things and have Advent planned and done, there are some goodies 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.