Thursday, November 03, 2011

No Newness Yet

I've been revisiting an absolutely beautiful book of prayers written by Walter Bruggemann lately, and have found myself moved again by his words and driven to share some of these prayers with you. Each prayer in the book was written for an occasion (such as a class lecture - he opened classes with these beautifully written prayers).  This particular prayer caught my attention in a week where I'm celebrating an anniversary of healing, but also conscious of all the places in my own life, and in the world that still cry out for healing.  Bruggemann wrote this prayer for a class on the Psalms that he taught, and the prayer is dated January 21, 1999.

No Newness Yet

You are the God who makes all things new.
We gladly raise our voices and move our lips
to acknowledge, celebrate, and proclaim
your staggering newness.
As we do so, we hold in our hearts
deep awareness of all the places where your newness
is not visible, and
has not come.
Our hearts link to many places of wretchedness
short of your newness.
We picture our folks at home,
sick, in pain, disabled, paralyzed
(we name Frank).
and no newness yet.
We know up close the deep wretchedness
of poverty, of homelessness, of hunger
and no newness yet.
Move our hearts closer to the passion of our lips.
Move our lips closer to your own newness.
Work your newness in hidden, cunning ways among us.
Move us closer to your bodied newness in Jesus,
newness of strength come in weakness,
newness of wisdom come in foolishness.
Draw us from the wretchedness we know
to his scarred, bloody wretchedness
that is your odd entry into our life.
We pray in the sane of his suffering newness. Amen.


christianne said...

Wow! That is absolutely beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing this.

shallowfrozenwater said...

yep, that hits home

Lisa said...

Christianne - I think you would love this book of prayers by Bruggemann. It's titled Awed to Heaven, Rooted in Earth (I think!). I'll be sharing more here as the days pass. This one totally made me think of the discussion going on in your Look at Jesus course about otherness, salvation and healing, as well.

Ian - that was my reaction too! Praying for you and Wendy!

Miss said...

Thanks for sharing this, Lisa. I bought the book after you mentioned it, but haven't got that far. This is a lovely prayer - so real.

I've been away from blog reading for a while, so I have a lot of yours to catch up on.

Your first snowfall - we've had our first few very hot days. We need to swap!


Miss said...

I have actually been to church three times in four weeks - a first for over two years, I think. Hoping I have turned a corner. A very down to earth, humble, and so far friendly church near home. I think I may rest there a while.

Lisa said...

Thanks Jenny! And I'm so happy that you think you may have found a community for a time. Praying that it really will be a place where you can rest.