Category Archives: Lent

The Blessing of Children

 

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This past Sunday, the first Sunday of Lent, the K – 2nd grade Sunday school children immersed themselves in the story of Jesus blessing the children and his admonishing the disciples (and others) not to distance children from him and spiritual growth. After considerable discussion, I told them that I was going to anoint their heads with oil and bless them. They got to choose between almond oil and grapefruit oil. Most chose grapefruit.

I made the sign of the cross on each head and said something like, “_______________ (each name), you are blessed by God’s love to be a blessing for others”. When the last child had had hands laid on him, I asked Neill to anoint my head with oil and bless me. Immediately, each of the children exclaimed her or his desire to bless me. One by one they stood before me with oil on a finger and made the sign of the cross on my head (without any prompting or instruction by me) and repeated the phrases I spoke.

Think about that for a minute – all those little hearts and fingers blessing me. Describing it as powerful and transformative does not do it justice.

“There’s nothing magical about the oil,” I told the children, “but we need to be reminded of God’s love for us and how we are to love others as often as possible. The oil is a reminder.” One first grader inquired, “Should we put oil on our heads every hour?” “That’s a very good question, I replied. (Which one of you readers could not use a reminder every hour or so?) Closing my eyes and putting my hand on my forehead, I said, “Any time we want we can just hold our forehead, remember the oil, and think God’s love for us and how we are called to love others. I opened my eyes and every child had their eyes closed and a hand on their forehead…. remembering.

 

Curious

Curious

photo (12)How often are we curious?

Not for the sake of personal advancement,

Or busy-body snooping on others,

But open to the universe.

Wonder taking us by the hand

Inviting us to be still and drink in Mystery

Further, further into the galaxies

Caught up in a fern unfolding

Or a bird’s singing (whose song was that?),

Without preconceived notions or goals.

Just following where creation takes us

To by fed by Transforming Love.

 

 

©March 6, 2014 Cynthia Langston Kirk

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ezekiel 37 for Today

Ezekiel 37 for Today

 The hand of the Lord came upon me, and God brought me and set me down in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones, parched white bones.  God led me all round them; there were many lying in the valley, and they were very dry and brittle to the point of breaking.  He said to me, ‘Mortal, can these bones live?’  I answered, ‘O Loving Creator, you are the one who knows.’  Then he said to me, ‘Prophesy to these bones, and say to them: O dry bones, hear the word of the Holy One. O addiction and grief, O loneliness and broken relationships, hear what I say.  You who shamed and belittled others and those who have been demeaned, listen to what I say.  This is what God promises.  I will cause breath to enter you and you shall live.  I will lay sinew on you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin.  And put breath in you, and you shall live, and you shall know that I am the Great Healer.

So I prophesied as I had been commanded.  I preached and I whispered; I shouted and danced to all the pieces and places that were dead.  Suddenly there was a noise, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone.  I looked, and there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin covered them; but there was no breath in them.  Then God said to me, ‘Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, mortal, and say to the breath: Thus says the Source of Life: Come from the four winds.  Come from the North and the South, the East and the West, O Breath, and breathe upon these who were dead, that they may live.  I called as God commanded me, and the breath came into them and they lived and stood on their feet, a vast multitude.

Then the Great Reconciler said to me, ‘Mortal, these bones are the whole of my children, the ones who were cast out, the ones damaged to the point of death.  They say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are cut off completely.  Our tears evaporated long ago and we lay in the dust of fear and despair.’  Therefore prophesy, show them a glimpse into the future, and say to them, ‘Thus says the One Who Make a Way Out of No Way: I am going to open your graves, open all that has buried you, closed you off and choked life and hope out of you.  I will put my spirit in you and bring you back to the land of the living.

 

©February 2011 Cynthia Langston Kirk

Liturgy for Maundy Thursday

 

CALL TO WORSHIP

Leader: We join together to praise God who

People: Offers us bread and leads us into communion.

Leader: We desperately need to quiet our minds and bodies

People: That we might look fully into our shortcomings, our beauty and God’s unending grace.

Leader: We come to experience the Word

People: To face our temptations and be reconciled to our brothers and sisters.

Leader:  Thanks be to the Bread of Life

People: Who can feed our souls and transform any life.

  

CALL TO CONFESSION

 Let us confess our personal and corporate sins: the ways we have brought brokenness and hurt into this world and the times we have not shown God’s love.

  

PRAYER OF CONFESSION

Merciful God, we come with pockets, bags and hearts filled with stones of arrogance, grief, anger, disbelief and more. We beg you to alter our lives to suit our desires and, when an outcome is not to our liking, we often turn our backs. We live as if worldly power can create the paradise and security so often advertised, not fully trusting in your faithfulness. We are tempted to believe we know best, even better than you, and often fail to worship you with our whole lives. Take the rocks that burden us. Take our stones of apathy and disrespect that hurt others. Help us know that we can be fed by your word and live confident that your grace is sufficient. In the name of the One who faced temptation and chose the way of Love we pray, Amen.

 

©April 2011  Cynthia Langston Kirk

 

Visit http://alivenow.upperroom.org/2011/03/01/praying-through-lent/  for Holy Week prayers.

To use this or any writings by Cynthia Langston Kirk please include her name in your bulletin and/or on your screen. If you want to use the writing in any other way than one time worship use, please contact Cynthia at: cynthia@piecingstories.com