In Words by Marika Hackman
your gift to us
is one who overcame
the system which oppresses
and feeds upon the victim:
send us to your world
to speak the truth of peace,
to stand with those who suffer,
to show another way;
through Jesus Christ, the life of all things.
The trouble with paradise is you never want to be away from home.
I make what calls me out.
All gone before you know it.
Words may drop passing color yet seeing you here now are born again, and again.
Closing a word in the mouth feels the sound until the tongue can’t stay still.
To unmask is to go silent.
Language makes no promise to communicate.
An articulated sound has its own dream in the ear.
Her presence in the room gives aroma to the syllables I voice.
Now she’s ready to draw eros from foreign bodies.
It starts by focusing on the sounds beyond hearing, still felt.
By she I mean who speaking animate configures.
This is the time of alternative obscurities to see through.
Through thoroughly, as a word weighs.
In a Word, A World
by CD Wright
“I have revealed your name to the people you gave me from this world. They were yours and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. This is because I gave them the words that you gave me, and they received them. They truly understood that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me.
“I’m praying for them. I’m not praying for the world but for those you gave me, because they are yours. Everything that is mine is yours and everything that is yours is mine; I have been glorified in them. I’m no longer in the world, but they are in the world, even as I’m coming to you. Holy God, watch over them in your name, the name you gave me, that they will be one just as we are one. When I was with them, I watched over them in your name, the name you gave to me, and I kept them safe. None of them were lost, except the one who was destined for destruction, so that scripture would be fulfilled. Now I’m coming to you and I say these things while I’m in the world so that they can share completely in my joy. I gave your word to them and the world hated them, because they don’t belong to this world, just as I don’t belong to this world. I’m not asking that you take them out of this world but that you keep them safe from the evil one. They don’t belong to this world, just as I don’t belong to this world. Make them holy in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. I made myself holy on their behalf so that they also would be made holy in the truth.
Words were the Wars by Lowell
The Knots Prayer
by Unknown, adapted
Please untie the knots
that are in our minds,
our hearts and our lives.
Remove the have-nots,
the can-nots and the do-nots
that we have in our minds.
Erase the will-nots,
might-nots that may find
a home in our hearts.
Release us from the could-nots,
should-nots that obstruct our lives.
And most of all,
we ask that you remove from our minds,
our hearts and our lives all of the ‘am-nots’
that we have allowed to hold us back,
especially the thought
that we are not good enough.
The Lord’s Prayer
who is in us here on earth,
holy is your name in the hungry who share their bread and their song.
Your Kindom come,
which is a generous land which flows with milk and honey.
Let us do your will,
standing up when all are sitting down,
and raising our voice when all are silent.
You are giving us our daily bread in the song of the bird and the miracle of the corn.
Forgive us for keeping silent in the face of injustice,
and for burying our dreams, for not sharing bread and wine, love and land, among us, now.
Don’t let us fall into the temptation of shutting the door through fear;
of resigning ourselves to hunger and injustice;
of taking up the same arms as the enemy.
But deliver us from evil.
Give us the perseverance and the solidarity to look for love,
even if the path has not yet been trodden,
even if we fail;
so we shall have known your Kindom which is being built forever and ever.
Wholy Holy by John Legend
May the cross be the sign
in which we begin again
to undo the cords of violence,
the misery of exclusion,
and proclaim the love
and the blessing of God,
the Rock, the Redeemer, and the Friend,
be with us and remain with us always. Amen.