On this summer solstice day O God
I’m thinking about our earth, our place on it, and the larger cosmos that we’re a part of.
Astrophysicists are amazing people -
Acute observers of the universe,
Reading and carefully mapping our past and our future.
Yesterday during an awe-inspiring lecture
I witnessed a dramatic telling of our context as revealed on a logarithmic map of the universe.
We journeyed from the Earth’s core out to the Earth’s surface, the International Space Station, the Hubble Telescope, other satellites orbiting the Earth, the moon, the sun, planets, asteroids, distant stars, black holes, pulsars, other galaxies, quasars and cosmic microwave radiations, out to the edge where the universe becomes opaque.
The place where any potential intelligent life is so far away that it will never know that we exist.
It will never know we exist.
But I am.
Though I am too small for this map.
I stand on this Earth,
But this Earth is mapped as a tiny spec.
We travelled the map through the universe from core to edge in 5 minutes,
A scale at which this moment, this now, cannot be captured,
It's duration not mappable.
What then of me?
Of this earth?
Of this sun that shines on us for so long on this solstice day?
May I recall today that I am yours,
Me and all around me -
We are yours.
This earth is yours,
And all that we see and touch, taste and smell is yours.
And this glorious warming sun is your gift -
Your gift to this ever-expanding universe that you are creating in our midst.
In our midst,
Below our noses
And within us,
Your creative power astounds.
May I delight in all that I have the gift of experiencing
In the space and time of this day,
Knowing that I matter.
We all matter.
It all matters
Here’s the map we scrolled up in 5 minutes: https://www.astro.princeton.edu/universe/all100.gif
Many thanks to the magi project http://www.themagiproject.org/2019
And here’s a mind-blowing scale model of our solar system that clarifies the distortions of every map we studied in school. A short video shot in the Nevada desert https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kj4524AAZdE
Guide us O God
Not to want more than we need
But to long for love
Love so powerful
Love that can change the world.
Yes, O shepherd.
May we long for that
Simply hearts overflowing with love
That changes the world.
And God saw that it was good.
O Creator God,
How you amaze!
Bugs that can jump 10 times as high as their length!
A species 250 million years old
Accelerating at a rate of 20G!
As we celebrate our earth,
Remind us to pause
May you find us standing
In awe and wonder
It is so very good.
Thanks be to God!
On this night, we gathered,
we waited and watched.
Our stories were woven together
with those of your saints of every time and every place.
On this night, earth met heaven.
On this night, humanity met divinity.
And your love, dear God, dawned anew,
stretching out for all your people.
We pray that your love is born again in our hearts,
our homes, our cities
and in all countries around the world.
With gratitude, we sing Alleluia!
May a new day dawn for us all. Alleluia indeed!
From Open Our Hearts: Daily Prayers for Lent and Holy Week, Ann Gerondelis Author, Wild Goose Press 2018
In the days ahead
May you find us
Awed by unexpected beauty
Moved by acts of compassion
Touched by tender love
Humbled by grace.
May devoted hearts overflow with
A love so generous
Love beyond measure
Love for all your people
Can change the world.
In the week ahead
We ask that you
Open our eyes
To angels in our midst
For we are surrounded by your messengers
And we long to hear their voices
Calling our names
And love enough for all
Each and every one.
How grateful we are, O God,
that you call us,
that you claim us,
and that you mysteriously mark us in love.
We, your people - grateful indeed.
from Open Our Hearts: Daily Prayers for Lent and Holy Week, Wild Goose Publications 2018. ionabooks.com
"Men often hate each other because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don't know each other; they don't know each other because they can not communicate; they can not communicate because they are separated." MLK Jr
Why are we so afraid God,
Building these walls around us?
Brick by brick
We carefully construct illusions of protection.
We grow distant,
Protected and safe.
No gripping fear to keep us up at night.
No glimpse of all that you are creating for us, O God.
This MLK day
We ask you to call us back to you.
Hear our prayers, even in the midst of suspicions of difference.
Nudge us to grow confident in standing shoulder to shoulder
Discovering together the power of the Beloved Community that you are calling us to become.
Lift the walls that separate us,
and give all your people that glimpse of a brighter tomorrow, O God.
Grant us the strength and the courage to work with each other and for each other,
How long, O God?
In response to the tragedies at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
O revealing God,
Day after day
You open our eyes
To your presence in our midst.
For you are where we are.
You are here.
A kindness whispered
A breath-taking beauty glimpsed
A smell triggering forgotten memories
A soft fabric to warm us
A delicious bite that brings pause.
Remind us this week
That though you are everywhere
You are not distant.
You are here.
Though you are forever
You are not later.
You are now.
Though you are in all
You are not out of reach.
You are in us.
All that we have
Is all that we need.
The gifts we encounter are enough.
Enough to change the world.
Today’s quick sketch captures a daily sight out of my urban living room window. I like to imagine the angel atop the temple not reminding the people of a holy event yet to come, but to remind all of us that here in this place, in this city, under this bit of the sky, that today, we have gifts aplenty. And if, we open ourselves to recognize them, and are generous enough to share them, our collective gifts can indeed change the world.
O God of work and rest,
On this Labor Day
We ask you to open our eyes
To the invisible community of laborers
That support and sustain us every day.
We pause to consider the simple t-shirt
And all those who worked to bring it into being
Hands that drew and
Imagined its design possibilities
Watered the fields
Baled the cotton
Separated the seeds
Cleaned the cotton
Designed the fabrication machines and
Maintained them so that they could
Spin the fibers
Knit the threads
Weave the fabric
Wash and dye it
Hands that held tools to
Cut the fabric
Stitch the fabric
Finish the shirt and
Stitch the label
Drove transport trucks
On highways and winding roads
Designed store displays
Rung up sales and
Hands that carried shirts home
Folded and washed them
So that we may be clothed.
On this day,
May we share our collective gratitude
For the work of these many hands.
May we work to ensure just labor systems
That invite balanced work and rest
May this be a day of joy,
Of rest and rejuvenation
Of heartfelt gratitude
For the loving labors of all your people.
O God of all
We return again.
But not in South Sudan.
They huddle for protection
No food in sight
Economic free fall
4.5 milion displaced by war
85% women and children
O God whose love stretches beyond our imagination
Bring glimpses of safety
Relief from hunger
To these, your people.
Walk with them.
Point the way ahead
That hope and healing
Greet them on the path today.
May we fumble
And get up again.
Let love grow
In the spaces between us all.
Come O God,
And make all things new.
Open our hands, O God,
That we may find you everywhere we are.