New song

            You have been born anew,
            not of perishable but of imperishable seed,
            through the living and enduring word of God.

                           —1 Peter 1.23

Beloved,
I am your infant in your arms

My flesh your holy vessel
For this eternal flowing

Carry me where you will
On the mountain of your back

I am your body made into singing
Each breath a new beginning

Sing me into this world
This living, beloved world

Breath prayer: + Your Word … born new +

                           —April 28, 2017

Green song

         Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets,
         he interpreted to them the things about himself
         in all the scriptures.

                  —Luke 24.27

The Beloved walks beside you,
murmuring in your ear.
His Teachings unfold
like spring beneath your feet,
his word a green singing
in every stone and leaf,
beyond your ears, beyond them.
You can’t originate it.
You have to listen.
In the stranger’s words,
the loved one’s tone of voice,
in the brief pause,
the little snake of doubt,
the silence of the dishes in the sink,
you have to listen.
Only later will you recognize it,
the truth you’ve known all along,
the voice you remember,
the word that awakens you,
your holy name,
the song of life.

                                     — April 27, 2017

Easter: seed

     
The seed of you,
released in life’s gracious sowing,
descends in darkest soil,
where the fingers of God,
earthy and rank,
smelling of root and rot,
work open your shell,
pry loose your outer being
and let you spill into earth,
blood outflowing its veins.
Hands of darkness hold you
still, deathly still,
longer than you want,
close and unknowing,
until you are earth.
The grave that enwraps you
knows it is purely in the hands
of the One who changes everything
into life,
who has the only power.
In time the original light,
set free, swells in you,
and who you are,
who God is in you,
drains upward into light,
and a green blade appears,
changed, bewildered and radiant,
still yet to become freely
what you shall become.

The light in you knows this,
and proclaims
even to your own amazement
as you fall,
the good news.
 

                                —April 26, 2017

The road

         Were not our hearts burning within us
         while he was talking to us on the road,
         and opening the scriptures to us?”
         
         —Luke 24. 13-16, 32

Don’t expect to arrive at a place of knowing.
You are on the road of discovering, my friend,
and the flame in your heart
will only inconstantly let you know
that there also walks the Beloved, who yearns
only for this one passionate delight
above all the glories of heaven:
every moment, even the least memorable,
the least noticed at all,
simply to be with you.

                  —April 25, 2017

Stone

            An angel of the Lord, descending from heaven,
                        came and rolled back the stone and sat on it.

                                       —Matthew 28.2

Put that holy little butt right on it.
Maybe pulled out a sandwich.

Such is the regard God has
for whatever imprisons you.

Not that bad stuff never happens.
Jesus did die, after all.

The miracle recovery, the reconciliation,
the job, the parole, sometimes they fail.

But something’s bigger than your woes,
even your death.

Whatever stone’s in front of you,
just remember there’s a angel’s butt on it.
         

                                       —April 24, 2017

Presence

 

            An angel of the Lord, descending from heaven,
                        came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. …
                        For fear of him the guards shook and became like dead men.
            But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid;
                        I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified.
                        He is not here; for he has been raised…”

                                       —Matthew 28.2-6

They’ve been through hell, these women.
Unlike the men who ran they stayed close,
they saw him killed, they stood by him faithfully,
they showed up at his grave.
See how they’ve been resurrected now,
and passed from death to life:
though hardened soldiers faint
the women are too close to God
to be so frightened of angels.

God, bear me through,
and give me faith to stay present
in the face of holiness.

Breath prayer: + Holy … presence +
 

                                       —April 21, 2017

Breathe deeply and go

            Jesus said, “Peace be with you.
                        As God has sent me, so I send you.”
            When he had said this, he breathed on them
                        and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.
            If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them;
                        if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”
                           —John 20.21-23

This is why Jesus has been raised from the dead:
to give us his Spirit.
This is how Jesus has been raised from the dead:
not in his own body now but ours:
we, the Body of the risen Christ.
God now sends us as Jesus,
to forgive.

When we forgive, all are set free.
When we retain sins we are stuck with them,
the burden ours as much as theirs.
But we are Spirit, sent to be free,
and to set free.
Breathe in all judgment.
Breathe out God’s grace.

God breathes us into the world,
grace-filled and free.
Breathe deeply, and go.

Breath prayer: + Free … to forgive +

                           —April 20, 2017

Thomas, undone

            “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands,
            and put my finger in the mark of the nails
            and my hand in his side,
            I will not believe”

                           —John 20.25

The unease you feel is not doubt.
It is hunger to go deeper.
You are not done yet.

Learn from Thomas,
who, when Jesus planned to go to Bethany
where they had tried to stone him,
said, “Let us go die with him.”

You want to see the scar of your betrayal
and how love bears it.

You want to touch the wounds
and enter the heart of The One
Who Suffers for the World
and lives.

Now, more than before,
you are ready to come and die with him,
let love undo you and begin agin.

Don’t belittle your restlessness.
Let it lead you.
Reach out.
Even now he is saying your name.
 

 

Your adoration

       
The meadow is anointed with fresh light.
The dancing sun hangs ribbons in the trees.
The woods break forth in flecks of green,
and birds of praise fly up into your eye-blue sky.
Earth knows how to adore you:
she blossoms forth without her thought or strain.
We, too, no less than rising daffodils,
are all ourselves your exaltation,
each raised up from our winter’s deathly sleep,
each breathed to life eternal by your joy,
your joy in us, in us your life, your light.
The seeds and buds and bulbs and roots don’t wait
form some far distant rescue to arrive;
they rise from life within, your passion’s flow,
your pure delight embodied, just like us.
O Holy One, we are your resurrection,
we your beauty, we your Life made flesh.
May we then live this day in gratitude
and love, your holy ones, your adoration.
 

 

Easter prayer

Holy One,
Holy Oneness,
Loving Self-Giver,

I am a clear glass.
You pour yourself into me
until I am all love,

and I pour my love,
which is all of myself,
into the world

and the glass is forgotten,
and the water flows out
and wherever it is,

tasted or spilled,
it is still water,
un-buriable,

blessing the earth;
it is still love, still you,
still eternal.

Christ. you pour yourself into me.
I pour myself out
and live beyond myself,

in you, as you,
resurrected:
life eternal.