Pots and plants

Geraniums in my kitchen garden

A meditation

How hard it is to know
when the pot is too small for the plant.
Some plants need to be contained, held very close.
Others cannot be crowded.
I don’t know when I myself am too pot-bound,
lacking courage to be replanted,
to take the shock of new soil,
to feel into the unknown and to take root in it.

This drying out, this self-crowding
sneaks up on me. It seems I must always feel
a little wilted or deadened before I know
I’m too pot-bound.

This african violet must first be cut
and divided. The knife goes through the root.
The white flesh exposed and moist
looks as if it is bleeding.
It must have soil immediately
so the plant won’t die.
Then water. Water taken in from below.
This water must seep up into the plant
by infusion. Then comes the waiting
as the shock registers.
Days and weeks of waiting.

It will be months before a new leaf appears.
Perhaps the plant won’t make it.
So it is when the time comes for me to be cut
and divided so as to grow again.

Help me to see this not as a problem
but as a process. Help me surrender
to the growth that only comes with pain,
with division, with helplessness, with waiting.
Especially the days and weeks of waiting.

from Being Home: A book of meditations by Gunilla Norris, p.32-33

From the blog
Full of air
Ask and receive
In the school of prayer with Michael Mayne

Plant us, root us, grow us


As we approach another Pentecost, I commend to you The Gift booklet, a resource that grew out of a 12-part series on the ministry of the Holy Spirit that I posted in 2017.


A prayer

You who led Israel through the waters,
plant us by streams of living water.

Root us in your love
and grow us up to bear the fruit of your Spirit:

    love, joy, peace,
    patience, kindness, goodness,
    faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.


from Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals by Shane Claiborne, Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove and Enuma Okoro, p. 222

From the blog
Bloom where you’re planted
Thank you. For fruit-bearing trees
Flowers fall, but …

Tears of joy


Call to worship

This is the day:
when tears are wiped away;
shattered hearts are mended;
fears are replaced with joy.

This is the day the Lord:
rolls away the stone of fear;
throws off death’s clothes;
goes ahead of us into God’s future.

This is the day the Lord has made:
death has no fear for us;
sin has lost its power over us;
God opens the tombs of our hearts
to fill us with life.

This is the day – Easter Day!
Christ is Risen! Hallelujah!

~ written by Thom M. Shuman, and posted on Lectionary Liturgies.

From the blog
To Emmaus and back
Resurrection light
In the school of prayer with Michael Mayne

No more tears

A prayer

O God our creator,
whose good earth is entrusted
to our care and delight and tenderness,
we pray:

For all who are in captivity to debt,
whose lives are cramped by fear
from which there is no turning
except through abundant harvest.

May those who sow in tears
reap with shouts of joy.

For all who depend on the earth
for their daily food and fuel,
whose forests are destroyed
for the profits of a few.

May those who sow in tears
reap with shouts of joy.

For all who labour in poverty,
who are oppressed by unjust laws,
who are banned for speaking the truth,
who long for a harvest of justice.

May those who sow in tears
reap with shouts of joy.

For all who are in captivity
to greed and waste and boredom,
whose harvest joy is chocked
with things they do not need.

May those who sow in tears
reap with shouts of joy.

Turn us again from our captivity
and restore our vision,
that our mouth may be filled with laughter
and our tongue with singing.

by Janet Morley,
from The Book of a Thousand Prayers by Angela Ashwin, #886

From the blog
In the school of prayer with Tish Harrison Warren
Wilderness woes
Man of Sorrows

Weep with those who weep

View from Casa la Salle, Rome


“When others are happy, be happy with them, and when they are sad, be sad.”



A prayer

from Papua New Guinea

Lord Jesus Christ,
    you told the women of Jerusalem not to weep for you
    but to weep for themselves.

Be with women who suffer violence in their homes
    as they weep for their sons caught up in the violence.

Be with women and children trapped in prostitution and poverty.

Be with the women who live in domestic violence,
    who have learnt not to weep for their own pains,
    who have suffered so long they are numb.

Strengthen your Church in its care and support of all who are in pain.

Help us all to be sensitive and caring,
    for you are the Lord who suffers and serves.

from A Procession of Prayers: Meditations and Prayers from Around the World by John Carden, p. 243

From the blog
I hear you
Roadside assistance
Windows on Holy Week (series from 2017)

Tears on the way

A prayer

Sometimes we don’t realize the intensity of the things for which we pray, Lord.  Keep us courageously mindful that your way is laden with tears on the way to resurrection. Amen.

from Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals by Shane Claiborne, Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove and Enuma Okoro, p. 169

From the blog
Theme: God makes all things new  [prayer sheet]
Leaving the desert behind
Burning desire

Thank you. For the promise of spring

Tree outside my front door captured in pre-spring array

We believe

based on Isaiah 61: 10-11

We believe.
We believe joyfully in the God of love,
with all our being we celebrate our God.
As soil after drought produces green shoots
and as garden seeds spring into new life,
so our God produces justice and praise
to spring up among all nations.

We believe in God
who dresses us in the garments of salvation;
who by the grace of Christ
covers us with the robe of righteousness,
adopts us into the holy family
and promises to make us a crown of beauty,
a royal diadem in the hand of God.

This we believe through Christ Jesus.
May the Holy Spirit strengthen our belief.

— written by Bruce Prewer, posted on www.bruceprewer.com

From the blog
Blossom and flourish
Singing creation’s song
Hear creation singing

Celebrate supply


“Our life is not only travail and labor, it is also refreshment and joy in the goodness of God. We labor, but God nourishes and sustains us. And this is reason for celebrating. … Through daily meals [God] is calling us to rejoice, to keep holiday in the midst of our working day.”

Diedrich Bonhoeffer,
from Life Together (New York: Harper & Row, 1954), p. 68

From the blog
Theme: Ever sustaining  [prayer sheet]
Food for thought
In all seasons – grow

Miraculous supply


Remember this story from John’s gospel? Most of it takes place behind the scenes, as Jesus quietly saves the day. Still, there are those who get a glimpse of his glory and all those present at the wedding get to taste and enjoy the fruits.


1 The next day there was a wedding celebration in the village of Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, 2 and Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the celebration. 3 The wine supply ran out during the festivities, so Jesus’ mother told him, “They have no more wine.”

4 “Dear woman, that’s not our problem,” Jesus replied. “My time has not yet come.”

5 But his mother told the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”

6 Standing nearby were six stone water jars, used for Jewish ceremonial washing. Each could hold twenty to thirty gallons. 7 Jesus told the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” When the jars had been filled, 8 he said, “Now dip some out, and take it to the master of ceremonies.” So the servants followed his instructions.

9 When the master of ceremonies tasted the water that was now wine, not knowing where it had come from (though, of course, the servants knew), he called the bridegroom over. 10 “A host always serves the best wine first,” he said. “Then, when everyone has had a lot to drink, he brings out the less expensive wine. But you have kept the best until now!”

11 This miraculous sign at Cana in Galilee was the first time Jesus revealed his glory. And his disciples believed in him.


Prayers of the people

inspired by John 2:1-11

Eternal God of the ages, we would bow as empty vessels waiting to be filled but our minds and souls are busy with many things which impede our being filled by you. We become preoccupied with our worries.

  • We worry about our children.
  • We worry about our personal finances.
  • We worry about how well we will perform our duties.
  • We worry about our health.
  • We worry about terror in our world.
  • We worry about war.

Help us to divest ourselves of the cares and troubles which so daily beset us. Empty us of them now that we may be filled.

  • May we be filled with a sense of your presence.
  • May we be filled with the touch of your spirit.
  • May we be filled with new energy.
  • May we be filled with your power.
  • May we be filled with trust and faith.

Empower us as we worship here and then enable us to impact your world for Jesus. Change the stagnant water of our lives to wine and touch us as you touched those people in Cana.

Be with our men and women in harm’s way and all those touched by the tragedy of war. Give them strength for each day as daily they must live with terror.

Give to the leaders of our world the resolve to wage war not on people but on poverty, injustice, hunger, disease, and all manner of human suffering. Give them the vision to shape a new world where self-interest is tempered and corrected by love and compassion and a hunger for justice.

Give to all the world the gift of being filled with new wine and new vision.

~ written by Richard Einerson, and posted on re:worship

From the blog
Quiet near a little stream
St Patrick’s Breastplate embodied
In the school of prayer with Anselm

Supply and response


Before or after a meal

Lord God, Creator of all,
in your wisdom,
you have bound us together so that we must depend on others
for the food we eat,
the resources we use,
the gifts of your creation that bring life, health, and joy.

Creator God, we give thanks.

Holy be the hands that sew our clothes so that we do not have to go naked;
sacred be the hands that build our homes so that we do not have to be cold;
blessed be the hands that work the land so that we do not have to go hungry.

Creator God, we give thanks.

Holy be the feet of all who labor so that we might have rest;
sacred be the feet of all who run swiftly to stand with the oppressed;
blessed be the feet of all whose bodies are too broken or weary to stand.

Creator God, we give thanks.

Holy be the sound of children laughing to take away our sorrow;
sacred be the sound of water falling to take away our thirst;
blessed be the sound of your people singing to heal our troubled hearts.

Creator God, we give thanks.

Holy be the bodies of those who know hunger;
sacred be the bodies of those who are broken;
blessed be the bodies of those who suffer.

In your mercy and grace,
soften our callous hearts and
fill us with gratitude for all the gifts you have given us.
In your love,
break down the walls that separate us
and guide us along your path of peace,
that we might humbly worship you in Spirit and in truth.

from Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals by Shane Claiborne, Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove and Enuma Okoro, p. 553

From the blog
Theme: Part of creation   [prayer sheet]
The Holy Other
Offer your bodies