O God, You sent Jesus to teach us about Your love. He showed us that it included the children, whom the disciples would have turned away. Today we pray that we, too, can learn to gather them to our knees, lay our hands upon them and bless them.read more
May the sacred spirit of life’s adventure
Keep me safe when I feel afraid
Make me steadfast when I am sad
“Whosoever welcomes the littlest of these children welcomes me”
Jesus put children at the heart of his vision of the kingdom of heaven, but our society so often fails them
All: Jesus said that the kingdom of heaven belongs to little children
Leader: The presence of God is surely in this place.
People: The presence of God is everywhere.
We give thanks for families of all shapes and sizes, which provide such an important basis for love and support in our society.read more
Today we celebrate mothers in all their diversity:
Mothers who experienced the joy and challenge of pregnancy and childbirth to bring another human being into the world
Divine Wisdom, we come seeking your guidance in our efforts to work together for peace. We come from diverse ethnic groups, cultures, and religions. We believe these differences enrich us all. Lead us on your paths to lasting and true peace.read more
Dear God, bless my taxes! Give me peace of mind as I struggle to fill out the forms and determine the right amounts I should be sending to Washington and Sacramento. Keep me calm, I pray, as I write out those fat checks on April 15. And whisper a reminder to me, Lord, of all the good reasons that I send my money to my government every year.read more
All: We are all partners and stewards of the unfolding universe, which is God’s glorious creation. Together we make the following shared commitment:read more
This light which bathes the world,
pours from a source so close, so near
and yet we cannot touch it
or fence it in that it not be lost.
How beautiful the energy of those ignited by a dream! How filled with song and dance and passion! They set their sights on points of possibility and work, play, inch, leap, edge, sing themselves, (and often …read more
Avowed atheist Susan Jacoby recently created a dust up with a recent article in the New York Times Sunday Review entitled, “The Blessings of Atheism.” She wrote in response to all the god-talk that appeared in the immediate aftermath of the Newtown massacre; with all those unanswerable questions or inadequate answers to human suffering and death so often peddled in popular religious belief.
So too, not long ago author and “non-believer,” Christopher Hitchen’s posthumously published his little book Mortality; recounting his rambling thoughts on his own imminent demise; after a terminal diagnosis left him a sufficient number of days to find himself “deported from the country of the well across the stark frontier that marks off the land of malady.”
But what, or where to, after that? What if this really is all there is?
It seems there has always been the human hankering to imagine all kinds of fanciful notions, in our attempts to recapitulate our mortal existence into something more than it is. Many religious traditions, including centuries of “mainline” orthodox Christianity, employ great mythic stories to describe a life subsumed into something greater than we can either know, or grasp, except by “faith.” Heaven knows, some folks try to better themselves, merely in the hope of a remote possibility there something more, after our death, which is a certainty. But in the end, is it all dust and ashes? And is that OK?
This is the liturgical time of year when many in the Christian tradition undergo a seasonal pilgrimage in which the faithful are reminded at the onset we mortals are nothing more than dust. And so we will one day return to that from whence we came. Then the traditional forty days end with the perennial re-enactment of a passion play commemorating the mortal demise of the one whom Christians even these many centuries later would profess to follow.
Many do so in the hope of some kind of immortality for themselves in some indecipherable form or other; attributing to Jesus a “resurrection” that means the same thing to them as god-like immortality; while others of us may find such imaginings to be not only reasonably implausible, but of less importance than what we take to be of greater significance and meaning in this faith tradition.
Otherwise, the vainglorious hope of immortality can become so enshrouded in our mortal fears that we become – like Lazarus in his early grave – so wrapped up in death that we fail to truly acknowledge and appreciate the gift of our mortality for what it is; nothing more, nor less.
With the certain assurance then that we are but dust and ash, we can ask ourselves if the gift of our mortality is not only enough, but more than enough? And if so, as the psalmist says, how then shall we “number our days, that we may apply our hearts to wisdom?” (Psalm 90:12)read more
It is right and a good and joyful thing to give thanks to you always, Creator God, because you have made the world in all its complexity.read more