Wednesday Prayers: Tedium and Te Deum

The trouble with naming prayers weekly (well, weeklyish, if you need to be precise) is that they get tedious. There's nothing new on my list today-- both the bloggable and the unbloggable are boring, drawn-out prayers.  Discernment.  Family.  Rest and peace.

I notice the tedium in my private prayers, and I suspect I'm not alone in noticing it in corporate prayers.  As we reach the prayers of the people each week, often the same people have been on the list (in the same order), for weeks, if not months.  If I went back to my old parish, I bet I could still recite parts of their list of those in need.  That ongoing faithfulness in petition is part of being the body of Christ together-- but like all other relationships, even our relationship in and with Christ can have boring bits.

I didn't want to share Wednesday Prayers this week.  Because of the tedium.  Almost as soon as I thought that, though, I heard it as "Te Deum."  Thee, O God, we praise.  The church's ancient hymn, reminding me that when humanity (mine, and all that around me) brings on a haze of torpor, it's time to look elsewhere.  

Is there a characteristic of God's that you're particularly aware of this week?  Will you share it, and make it part of the wider hymn?

Thee, O God, we praise. 


In the Hands of an Angry God

I think Jonathan Edwards was a little unhinged, but I've never understood the wholesale rejection of an angry God.  There are days when things are just wrong, and I want someone to regulate.  Don't misunderstand me-- I've been the recipient of misdirected rage and violence, and that's not how I want to see God's character.  But that's not all anger is-- anger is also an appropriate response to deep injustice.  When someone I love is treated badly, I want the person responsible to fall down in a gutter from a heart attack, and have their face eaten off by rats.  That's how I know it should be God doing the regulating, and not me.

(Please.  I find it very hard to believe you can't think of anyone who should've had their face eaten off by rats.)

If God gets angry when we hurt each other, I don't have to fling myself onto the nearest horse and turn to outlaw justice.  It also saves me from being a kangaroo court:  God gets to decide who's guilty, and what should be done about it, not me.  Plus, God gets to make the corrections, because God knows everyone's souls-- mine and yours and even the soul of that dirtbag I'm mad at.  God knows where and how we need to turn around.    

This matters today, because someone was a complete ass to a person I love, and I wanted a baseball bat.

But it's not my bat.  And the rats aren't mine to control, either. Thanks be to God.


Wednesday Prayers: Whew!

I'm giving thanks for a finished semester. I took my last exam and handed in my last paper yesterday.

Today, I took a four-hour nap.


National Insanity

I keep thinking of the old definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. If that's right, then our whole country is insane-- we weep and mourn after every school shooting (how many of them now?!), but what changes are we making? The changes might be better mental health care, tighter gun control, or reorienting a culture that actively discourages peacefulness and respect for human dignity, but the status quo is officially insanity.  

I'm terribly sad, but there is no part of me that is at all surprised that yet another gunman has killed children and those who nurture them.  What will it take for us to look for the conditions that have made this the new normal?  

I don't have the answers, but I am absolutely certain that moving ahead in the same exact way will bring us right back to where we are this week.  We're clearly failing on a lot of levels.