Friday, April 18, 2014

Easter Vigil

Watching, waiting, hurting, praying;
no understanding, certainty; hope instead.
Wondering why we should be staying.
Will he be raised from the dead?

Time is indiscernible motion;
feet and arms heavy as lead.
Feels like we have cried an ocean.
Will he be raised from the dead?

Burying heads beneath the covers,
sheet of anguish, quilt of dread.
Hurt even more than that of lovers.
Will he be raised from the dead?

Photo by Todd Jenkins


© 2012 Todd Jenkins

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Liberator

Death is the equalizer of all egos;
resurrection, their liberator.

The latter does not exist
without the former,
despite all efforts to the contrary.

Those who cannot release
their death-grip on life
will never reach the empty tomb.

Easter's vigil must begin
with people who recognize
an EKG that is fully flat-lined.

Photo by Todd Jenkins

© 2014 Todd Jenkins

Monday, April 14, 2014

Easter Worship Resources

Call to Worship [responsive]:

 [one] Why are you here?

[many] We have come to see if what the women told the disciples is true.

[one] Do you mean what they said about the resurrection?

[many] Yes, we have heard that Christ is risen, and we believe that we’ve even caught glimpses of resurrection power in our own lives, but we’d like to see more.

(All) Let us open ourselves to the power and possibility of the promise of resurrection!

Prayer of Confession:
We confess, O resurrecting One,
that we have more experience with
the commercial celebration of Christmas
than we do with the evangelical celebration of Easter.
Here’s what we’re hoping today:
that you will open-up our hearts,
shore-up our faith,
and Easter-up our hope,
that resurrection’s light
might shine through our lives;
through Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.


© 2014 Todd Jenkins

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Ordinary Ministry

We work, play, casually interact
with people every day
who have unspeakable tragedy
lurking just beneath
the surface of their lives.

Sometimes we’re on
the other end, finding
tragedy as our own.

Most of the time there's
no longer visible indication
of this suffering;
occasionally- more often than
we probably realize –

thin places show,
where a fresh coat of normal
does not completely hide
what has been buried
in shallow ground.

Stubbing our metaphorical toe
on another’s invisible pain;
accidentally raking across
non-sequiturs of
rage, anger, shock.

Momentary silence creates
complete change of subject;
punctuation’s pause opens door
to overflowing catacombs of emotion.

Pay attention! These are
places where we can
rise to the occasion
and be fully present;

times for which we are created;
experiences by which,
if we resist the reflex of withdrawal,
we are warmed in love,
soldered together
by God’s healing touch;

foundational blocks for
the priesthood of all believers;
blessed sacraments of ordinary ministry.

Photo by Lee Lindsey McKinney


© 2014 Todd Jenkins

Friday, April 11, 2014

Faith Float

Photo by Todd Jenkins

Whether we jump
or are thrown into the river,
our reflex is to struggle,
mostly against the current;

either to maintain our favored position
or fight to get upstream
to a place we’ve decided is better.

But if we fill our lungs with breath,
and our lives with spirit,
we just might find the courage
to relax – to lie back and float.

No longer obsessed
with who's passing us by
or when/where we'll wash ashore,

we may find a way
to let the water shape us;
its steady flow wearing smooth
the rough edges of our brokenness,

so that we no longer
cut others and harm ourselves.
Lasting transformation is
more likely shared when we allow
others into the spaces where the river
has smoothed our abrasiveness.

© 2014 Todd Jenkins


Thursday, April 10, 2014

That Is All

Grace is the unique offering
the church has
to bring to the table,

Yet, when we bring it,
we find that it is actually
the gift that delivers us;

an unwrapping that reveals
the glorious strands of hope
that inspire us toward
the community of God
for which we were created;

the net that keeps us
from falling into the abyss
of separation and division;

eyes and hearts that sense
that we are all in this
together for a reason,
and it is really the only reason.

Photo by DeEtta Harris Jenkins

© 2014 Todd Jenkins

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Maundy Thursday Resources

Call to Worship [responsive]:

Females: How long ago was it
that Jesus entered Jerusalem
in a carnival atmosphere;
the crowds shouting his praises
and waving royal palm branches?

Males: That was barely more
than four days ago,
on the first day of the week.

Females: So much has happened since then;
so much that we did not expect
and could not control.

Males: Expectation has indeed been shattered,
and control lost. 
Where do we go from here?

Females: Rumor has it that those closest to him
are gathered in an upper room;
gathered to celebrate the Passover,
and perhaps more.

Males: Should we join them? 
Dare we risk setting aside our own expectations,
and giving up our control?

All: Let us dare! 
Let us abandon our lives to
the power of the God whose
love conquers all.

Prayer of Confession:
We confess, O God of exodus promise,
that we have found a certain level of comfort
in our own enslavements. 
We have chosen some bondages for ourselves;
others have been forced upon us;
and the evils we know
seem more comforting than
possibility and promise that we don’t know. 
In the quiet solitude of this hour,
give us the hope of Gethsemane’s garden,
that we might also have the courage
to let go of our own desires
and open ourselves to your will;
through Jesus Christ

the bread of life and cup of salvation.  Amen.

Photo by Todd Jenkins

© 2014 Todd Jenkins