from North & South exhibition, Catharijneconvent, Utrecht (Photo: Irene Bom)
Thank you to all who subscribe and visit the site regularly. According to my stats, in 2019 we had twice as many views and visitors as last year – visitors from 100 countries around the world.
For this post – the last in 2019 – I’ve selected excerpts from a paintedprayerbook.com post from 2014 in which Jan Richardson reflects on the significance of story and Jesus as storyteller supreme.
Elie Wiesel says that God created us because God loves stories.
When Christ came (in the fullness of time, the story goes), he came as the Word made flesh. A story in motion. And he went into the world with stories on his lips, weaving them everywhere he went.
A sower went out to sow.
A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers.
There was a man who had two sons.
Jesus understood that in a world where it can be so difficult to know God, to know others, to know even ourselves, a story can offer a language, a doorway, a point of entry. He knew how a story can take us a little deeper into knowing, a little farther down the road in our journey of return.
What stories are you listening to? What stories are you telling? How do you attend to your own story? Where have you experienced being lost in a story, and being found? How might God be inviting you to look at your story with new eyes?
Blessing the Story
You might think
this blessing lives
in the story
that you can see,
that it has curled up
in a comfortable spot
on the surface
of the telling.
But this blessing lives
in the story beneath
It lives in the story
inside the story.
In the spaces
In the edges,
the mysterious gaps,
the enticing and
makes its home
within the layers.
This blessing is
doorway and portal,
passage and path.
It is more ancient
and makes itself
is where the story
– Jan Richardson
From the blog
3 Prayers for endings and beginnings
Theme: Do not lose heart [prayer sheet]
Peekaboo! I see you! (Photo: Irene Bom)
This post – originally inspired by the theme, Bright – has been on hold since August. It made more sense to wait and delay posting until Christmas came into view, the season of the church year when we traditionally think about bright things like choirs of angels and guiding stars. Only a few more days now.
Wishing you all a fresh encounter with the Christ child this Christmas.
Call to Worship
referencing Psalm 95:6, Psalm 24:1, Isaiah 9:2 and Revelation 22:16
O come let us worship and lift our hearts …
Not because the world is good and last week was awesome,
but because the earth is the Lord’s and everything in it,
the God of the whole Earth.
O come let us worship and raise our hands …
Not because our lives are all sweetness and light,
But because even those who walk in darkness
can see a great light,
the Bright and Morning Star
O come let us worship and bow down …
Not because God gives us what we want,
But because God gives us what we need –
the holy child Jesus, God’s Unspeakable Gift.
written by Leonard Sweet, posted on Preach the Story and re:worship
This prayer sheet is inspired by the December 2019 theme of the month: Story.
In these prayers we reflect on the significance and impact of the good news that Jesus came into the world to seek and save the lost.
For personal use or to share.
Continue reading “Theme: Good news”
The Destroyed City (Rotterdam) – rebuilt and flourishing (Photo: Irene Bom)
Sculpture by Ossip Zadkine, inspired by the devastation of the 1940 bombing of Rotterdam
The first post in our December series, “Story”, features a prayer by Cheryl Lawrie that invites God to speak into the particulars of our lives with his story of transforming grace.
God, we bring our stories
and we wait to be held by yours.
We bring our faithfulness:
shape it with grace
We bring our success:
shape it with generosity
We bring our weaknesses:
shape them with compassion
We bring our possibilities:
shape them with hope.
We confess, God, that the way is hard
and we are tired.
Speak into our tiredness with your story of grace
We confess that the way is unclear
and we do not know the path
Speak into our wandering with your story of vision
We confess that we are tired of waiting
and we just want to make it happen
Speak into our impatience with your story of wisdom
Let your story be our story
and we pray this in Jesus’ name
— written by Cheryl Lawrie, and posted on her [hold this space] blog.
More details about Zadkine’s statue, The Destroyed City