A prayer for the fourth Sunday after the Epiphany.


For millennia, people have gathered to sing to you together, to speak to you together. And to talk about your great works, your majestic works, your grace and compassion and truth and justice.

We listened to words like that when we started today.

We love the idea. We struggle with the reality.

Gathering is hard these days, all the harder in the hospital.

Thinking about your great works when we are dying is hard. Thinking about your grace and compassion is hard when we’ve heard them proclaimed by people who don’t show them. Thinking about your truth and justice is hard when truth is bent and justice deferred by people who use your name.

Including each of us, we confess.

We have claimed your name and sung your praises and then lived our lives the way we’ve wanted.

It’s no wonder people who don’t know you have questions about you because of us.


It feels funny to ask you to help us fear you. It feels funny that wisdom starts, apparently, with that fear. But if I could say it differently, I think you mean that we will begin to have wisdom when we stop assuming that we know everything, that our experience is the measure of everything, that my life represents all life across all time. We will begin to have wisdom when we start understanding that your timelessness and creative power and self-sacrificing love give you perspective that we don’t have and that we need.

God, today, give us a glimpse of your power. Give us a sense of your presence. Through the cracks in our lives, allow your peace to seep in.

Forgive us our arrogance.

We ask through Christ our Lord.



Reflecting on Psalm 111

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