I woke up this morning, as I do every Sunday, and tried to write prayers that I could share here. I wrote for 30 minutes and then just deleted it all. My brain is muddled. I’m furious about some things and scared about others. I can’t manage to find a balance between feeling everything and feeling nothing. And well…I wanted to offer you something but there’s nothing there today. All I have is the need for someone else to pray.
Then I popped on Twitter and found that someone had tagged me in a thread from Rabbi Latz. Follow him on Twitter here:
And suddenly I knew that I didn’t need my own words, that God provided. I’m learning how to take turns in life. I’m learning that sometimes we are the ones being lowered by our friends through the roof to Jesus and sometimes we are the ones doing the lowering. Sometimes our own tradition has the words we need to express our longings and sometimes those words come from other faiths. But always, there is enough. Enough prayer, enough hope, enough faith. We need not come to the table with our own. There is enough.
His blessing was the prayer I needed. The faith I needed. The hope I needed. And I’m grateful he has allowed me to share it.
A Blessing for Shabbat Chanukkah (posted with permission)
The Kabbalists (Jewish mystics) teach that before humanity was created, the world was a perfect vessel of Divine light.
When the universe birthed its first humans, that light shattered, each fragment to spark the hope and imagination of every soul who would ever dwell on Earth.
Tonight, after this year we’ve been through, we feel the rupture and the shatteredness acutely; we feel it in our bodies, in our kishkes, in our souls, in our tears.
In a sky dark with a politics of callousness and peddlers of cynicism and despair, we could so easily be consumed by the blight of despair. The miracle of Chanukkah is not that oil lasted for eight days or that the Macabees defeated the Assyrian army.
The miracle of Chanukkah is that in the depths of winter & the valleys of darkness, each of us has the capacity to take our spark of Divine light and illuminate the world with it. We Jews are a people intoxicated with compassion and consumed with hope. Hope is our superpower.
So on this Shabbat Chanukkah, as we light the flames of Shabbat and of Chanukkah, we are called to ignite possibility and promise, kindness and decency.
It isn’t easy. Forces want to snuff out our hope, want us to believe we have no power, need us for their own material gain to believe that we and our lives do not matter.
But we do matter. And when we join together to touch our sparks with our neighbors, to ignite the promise of equity and equality, justice and human dignity, we create a blaze of truth and a fire of holy love that will remake the world.
Tonight! Join me for an Advent Prayer service from my kitchen table:
I love Advent.
And I miss church.
So I’m inviting everyone to join me at my kitchen table for a short Advent service each Sunday 8-8:15p EST. All are welcome. No need to believe the same things I do.
Prayer, poem, mini-sermon, candle lighting and 2 verses of O Come Emmanuel sung by my friend Rachel Kurtz.
Grab your candles and join me on my Instagram Live. (Just go to my Instagram page and you’ll see my profile pic (circle at the top left with my photo) say “live” when I start. Just click and you’re in!
For what, where, and whom do the people of God pray?
Comments are open. (But don’t be an asshole.)
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