May 19, 2021A daily prayer during this COVID-19 crisisDuring these difficult days, members of the clergy class of 2020 are sharing a daily prayer based on the Revised Common Lectionary for the week.
You are welcome to use these in worship or in your own devotions.
Today’s prayerO Lord,
Bringer of Breath,
Conqueror of Death,
You wash a calm breeze across the broken bodies of our dreams,
Knitting us back together with Words of Grace for our binding seams.
The Hand of the Lord came upon me
It pushed me to a place I did not want to see
A site reeking of pain – lost, addicted, hungry, isolated, abused, and depressed.
My eyes wanting to turn away to say, “not my problem, I’m blessed.”
But God, you shift me back to the truth and force me to really look – “Mortal, can these bones live?”
My hesitancy with answering betraying my internal misgive
Is change possible? Is a revival of the soul within the realm of God?
I call out – “why ask me – my togetherness is just a façade
You are the divine …
do your thing make it shine!
You are the Alpha and the Omega, existing before the world began.”
Yet, even as I test you, you still include me in your revitalization plan.
“Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, mortal, and say to the breath”
I challenge – “What is one lone voice in a cemetery of chaos, hate, and affliction?”
Then I remember I know the story of the crucifixion
When one fully God and fully man spoke to the world a New Covenant of Hope
As I stumble through the skeletons in our collective closet, I hold on to that story like an anchor rope
And then I prophesy by just sharing what I know about Love, Peace, Jesus, Hannah, and Jude
“the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood on their feet, a vast multitude”
as the scripture soaked the skulls the Word made flesh knit something within
And before my eyes I saw transformation begin
Then some bodies retaliated claiming ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost”
They were clinging to their present state – it is comfortable – healing is unknown – it is scary to defrost.
Yet, the Spirit is not perturbed it hovers and glides across the valleys, hills, and dales
opening new beginnings, second chances, and grace-filled trails
Astounded I watch as my soul pauses in awe at the wonder of a God that saves
The voice of the Resurrected declares “I am going to open your graves”
Then my own rattling dry bones have a restorative shake as I hear
“I will bring you back” Jesus whispers “I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you” long this rings in my ear
I learned that day that no matter what we face it does not have to be the end
“I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live” – on God we can depend.
Time and Again
Rev. Shannon Diana Keeney, Minister of First United Methodist Church, Littleton, NH
Based on Ezekiel 37.1-14