Mary Did You Know?

Mary Did You Know?

Mary, did you know that your baby boy would one day walk on water?
Mary, did you know that your baby boy would save our sons and daughters?
Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new?
This child that you delivered, will soon deliver you

Mary, did you know that your baby boy would give sight to a blind man?
Mary, did you know that your baby boy would calm the storm with his hand?
Did you know that your baby boy has walked where angels trod?
When you kiss your little baby you kiss the face of God

Mary, did you know? Mary, did you know?
Mary, did you know? Did you know?
Mary, did you know? Mary, did you know?
Mary, did you know? Mary, did you know?
Mary, did you know? Mary, did you know?

The blind will see, the deaf will hear, The dead will live again
The lame will leap, the dumb will speak, The praises of the Lamb
Mary, did you know that your baby boy is Lord of all creation?
Mary, did you know that your baby boy would one day rule the nations?
Did you know that your baby boy is heaven’s perfect Lamb?
That sleeping child you’re holding is the great, I Am

Mary, did you know? (Mary, did you know?)
Mary, did you know? (Mary, did you know?)
Mary, did you know? Oh

Source: Musixmatch Songwriters: Greene Lee Rufus / Lowry Mark Alan
Mary, Did You Know? lyrics © Greensleeves Publishing Limited, Rufus Music, Word Music, Llc

 

Christmas Joy

Christmas Joy
Today, on this Christmas morn, we celebrate our great joy with the words of this Christmas hymn by Rev. David Bjorlin. Again, you are invited to read the text slowly and prayerfully. Notice what word or phrase you are drawn to, and offer it as a prayer to God.

Light is Kindled in the Darkness
Light is kindled in the darkness
when our hope seems most absurd,
beacons through a shrouded future,
pledges of Christ’s steadfast word;
gifts of goodness yet enfold us-
all around, beneath, above-
signs of beauty still persisting,
symbols of God’s constant love.

Though the wrong appears victorious-
vi’lence, prejudice, and pride-
hope still rises from the wreckage;
joy and grief stand side by side.
We will feel both pain and promise,
terror’s sting and love’s new birth,
as we walk in light and shadow
on God’s blessed and bleeding earth.

Raise your candle in the darkness,
though the wick of faith burns low.
Feed the fire with grace and justice
and in wonder watch it grow.
As we gather flames together,
till they shine with warmth and light,
God dispels the night of hatred,
and the blaze of love burns bright.

Text written by Rev. David Bjorlin © 2017 GIA Publications, Inc.
https://www.giamusic.com/store/resource/protest-and-praise-print-g10101

Come Now, O God, When Our Love is Forsaken

Fourth Sunday of Advent

Come Now, O God, When Our Love is Forsaken
Come now, O God, when our love is forsaken.
Come, when our bedrock of faith has been shaken.
Come, when our deepest of hopes are mistaken.
Come, Emmanuel.
Come, Emmanuel.

Come, when we squander the freedom you gave us.
Come, break the systems of sin that enslave us.
Come, though we wonder if you can still save us.
Come, Emmanuel.
Come, Emmanuel.

Come, lead us out of our self-serving madness.
Come, while the world is enshrouded in sadness.
Come, turn the tears of our mourning to gladness.
Come, Emmanuel.
Come, Emmanuel.

Text written by Rev. David Bjorlin © (c) 2018, GIA Inc.
https://www.giamusic.com/store/resource/protest-and-praise-print-g10101

The Prophets Caught a Vision

Third Sunday of Advent

 

The Prophets Caught a Vision
The prophets caught a vision
too thrilling to ignore
of children leading nations
no longer armed for war,
of weapons used for planting
and wolf and lamb at play,
of wild things all conspiring,
Preparing God’s own way

The prophets sought a vision,
a dream of God’s own reign
where peace embraces justice
and joy eclipses pain.
and though such dreams seem useless
their purposes grow clear:
to free minds long held captive
and loose hearts gripped by fear.

God, grow in us a vision
beyond our common dreams
that wakes imaginations
asleep in selfish schemes.
Then rising up together,
your vision as our goal,
we work toward that great promise
a shattered world made whole.

Text written by Dr. Rev. David Bjorlin © 2020 GIA Publications, Inc.
https://www.giamusic.com/store/resource/protest-and-praise-print-g10101

 

Prepare the Way with Quietness

Prepare the way with quietness,
a stillness in the storm,
that will not speak the wounding words
that cheapen or deform.

Prepare the way with hopeful words
some mock but others crave,
that makes the empire flinch in fear
and turn the fearful brave.

Prepare the way through holding back
while others grasp or strain
for unjust wealth and untamed power
that add to human pain.

Prepare the way with fervent love
that tears down walls of hate
and reconstructs a kinder world
that justice can create.

Prepare the way until we reach
the dawn of that new day
when all our paths converge in Christ
and we have found our way.

Text written by Rev. David Bjorlin, 1984 © 2020 GIA Publications, Inc.
https://www.giamusic.com/store/resource/protest-and-praise-print-g10101

Advent Begins in the Darkness of Night

Advent begins in the darkness of night,
waiting and watching for signs of a light,
walking in faith that a path will appear,
daring to follow in spite of our fear.

Advent begins with our dreams yet deferred.
love sounds ridiculous, prayer seems absurd.
but in the midst of life’s centerless maze,
we lift together our protest of praise.

Advent begins in oppression’s domain
marked by the cries of confusion and pain.
Yet hope is kindled where justice is done,
mercy is nurtured and peace is begun.

Advent goes on till the promised dawn breaks,
tyrants are toppled, and God’s dream awakes.
Hope is perfected and faith is made sight.
Love is our center and Christ is our Light.

Text written by Dr. Rev. David Bjorlin © 2017 GIA Publications, Inc.
https://www.giamusic.com/store/resource/protest-and-praise-print-g10101

Grieving

There is so much to grieve in 2020 on multiple levels including Covid. This is for all who have been touched by loss and are grieving.

Grieving

Grieving

Heart- break-ing

Sobbing

Wailing

Yearning

Longing

Searching

Stretching

Releasing

Reaching

Being

Reached

Reassured

Loved

Held

Comforted

By the Divine One 

whose heart and arms

holds it all.

By Rev. Eva Sullivan-Knoff

© Nov 2020

A Pandemic Thanksgiving

Oh God,

During this Thanksgiving season,

our hearts are immensely heavy, and so we lament.

Covid has taken so many lives and has isolated us one from another,

racism and white supremacy have claimed too many lives

as they invoke evil on the black community.

A stressful political environment has us on edge.

It has been a year of pandemics.

And if that isn’t enough,

other heartbreaks that have pushed in on us,

the loss of work, relationship, community, and storms of every kind.

And we wonder as we cry out,

How Long Oh God?

This year has been so murky,

And yet, knowing

You are a God who invites lament

is a gift beyond itself.

We not only have the freedom to lament,

but you beckon us to draw close

and to pour out our hearts to you.

You invite us to share our tears of sorrow,

to speak our sadness,

and to give you the burdens

that weigh too heavy upon us.

We are reminded in the midst of all else,

that you care about us,

that you are Emmanuel God with us.

Even when we can’t see, you remain near.

Your presence is made known through simple acts of kindness,

Through those who embody you and your compassion,

Through simple things like sunshine and wind chimes

And a warm greeting from a friend or neighbor.

So though we come with heavy hearts,

We are grateful that we can do so

and to name it all to you,

who holds us when we can’t stand anymore

and when there are no tears left.

Thank you compassionate God for the ways

You reveal yourself to us.

Open our eyes that we may recognize more.

We offer this our pandemic Thanksgiving

knowing you hurt with us

And you never leave our side.  Amen.

If you are in need of support and would like to talk to someone, we have spiritual directors who would love to meet with you. Or if you would like to be a part of an online support group, please contact us and we can connect you with one.

Lectio Divina: Isaiah 46:3,4

Opening Prayer
Oh Holy One,
We come as we are in so many different ways.
How grateful we are that you welcome us completely,
however we come.
Quiet our hearts before you now.
Meet us in the stillness
And awaken us to your care for us.

Lectio Divina or Divine Reading
Read this scripture through a few times.
The first time you read it simply take in the words.
The second time, notice to what word or phrase your heart is drawn.
Prayerfully sit with it.
The third time you read it offer the prayer of your heart to God.
The last time you read it, simply rest in God.

Scripture Reading Isaiah 46:3,4
Listen to me, O house of Jacob,
all the remnant of the house of Israel,
who have been borne by me from your birth,
carried from the womb; even to your old age I am he, even when you turn gray I will carry you.
I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save.

Closing Prayer
Compassionate One, in the midst of this pandemic,
When the days linger on, and uncertainty has become the norm,
Our awareness of your presence ebbs and flows,
And yet we know you will not leave us.
We lean on your promises, on your faithfulness
which are new every morning.
How we long for these words of scripture,
to enter us deeply.
We ache for the awareness of your love and presence
which gave birth to us,
Your arms which hold and carry us
Your heart which watches over us.
O God to whom we belong, we entrust ourselves to you this day, relying on you to meet us where we are, and to carry us when we are too weary to stand.
We lean our heads against your heart,
drawing in strength from your loving embrace.
May it fill us with your peace and anchor us in you.
We love you God.
Thank you for reminding us yet again
of the way in which you love and carry us.
Amen.

Copyright 2020 Rev. Eva Sullivan-Knoff

Raise Me Up by Josh Grobin