Black Rage by Lauryn Hill
who knows each of us by name:
we thank you for the woman,
who stood out of the crowd
and defied her uncleanness
to connect with you;
we praise you for the leader of the synagogue,
who faced the mockery of others
to give his daughter hope;
may the flowing power of Christ
bring healing and acceptance
to the rejected and the abused,
through Jesus Christ, giver of life.
Still I Rise
by Maya Angelou
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.
Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.
Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.
Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?
Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own backyard.
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.
Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?
Out of the huts of history’s shame
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
Jesus crossed the lake again, and on the other side a large crowd gathered around him on the shore. Jairus, one of the synagogue leaders, came forward. When he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet and pleaded with him, “My daughter is about to die. Please, come and place your hands on her so that she can be healed and live.” So Jesus went with him.
A swarm of people were following Jesus, crowding in on him. A woman was there who had been bleeding for twelve years. She had suffered a lot under the care of many doctors, and had spent everything she had without getting any better. In fact, she had gotten worse. Because she had heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his clothes. She was thinking, If I can just touch his clothes, I’ll be healed. Her bleeding stopped immediately, and she sensed in her body that her illness had been healed.
At that very moment, Jesus recognized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched my clothes?”
His disciples said to him, “Don’t you see the crowd pressing against you? Yet you ask, ‘Who touched me?’” But Jesus looked around carefully to see who had done it.
The woman, full of fear and trembling, came forward. Knowing what had happened to her, she fell down in front of Jesus and told him the whole truth. He responded, “Daughter, your faith has healed you; go in peace, healed from your disease.”
While Jesus was still speaking with her, messengers came from the synagogue leader’s house, saying to Jairus, “Your daughter has died. Why bother the teacher any longer?”
But Jesus overheard their report and said to the synagogue leader, “Don’t be afraid; just keep trusting.” He didn’t allow anyone to follow him except Peter, James, and John, James’s brother. They came to the synagogue leader’s house, and he saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly. He went in and said to them, “What’s all this commotion and crying about? The child isn’t dead. She’s only sleeping.” They laughed at him, but he threw them all out. Then, taking the child’s parents and his disciples with him, he went to the room where the child was. Taking her hand, he said to her, “Talitha koum,” which means, “Young woman, get up.” Suddenly the young woman got up and began to walk around. She was 12 years old. They were shocked! He gave them strict orders that no one should know what had happened. Then he told them to give her something to eat.
Get Up Stand Up by Bob Marley
O God, we thank you for the lives of great saints and prophets in the past, who have revealed to us that we can stand up amid the problems and difficulties and trials of life and not give in. We thank you for our foreparents, who’ve given us something in the midst of the darkness of exploitation and oppression to keep going. Grant that we will go on with the proper faith and the proper determination of will, so that we will be able to make a creative contribution to this world. In the name and spirit of Jesus we pray. Amen.
The Lord’s Prayer
O Thou, The Breathing Life of all,
In the roar and whisper, in the breeze and the whirlwind, we hear your name.
Help us let go, clear the space inside,
Creating a holy place within for your light to shine.
Unite our “I can” to yours,
So that we walk as kings and queens with every creature.
Your heart’s fervent desire then acts with ours.
As in all sound and light, so in all creatures on the earth.
Give us the food we need to grow through each new day.
Produce in us the wisdom and understanding we need at each new stage of our lives.
Help us to let go of our past, the hidden guilt of our failures,
Just as we consistently release others of the knots of their guilt.
Let us not become lost in busyness, in the surface appearance of things. But free us from what holds us back.
May abundance, fertile power, and glorious harmony return again and again, in each new age. May this be the ground from which all our actions grow. Amen.
Them, Us by Sidewalk Chalk
May the Spirit be the storm
that shakes the foundations,
the leap of new fire,
which turns oppression to ash;
may her wildness seduce us
with holy desire;
and the blessing of God,
the Lover, the Beloved and the Love,
be with us and remain with us always. Amen.