Monday, April 26, 2010

Left in the Lurch

Knowing reaches into the future.
Not as far as we’d like, but
something is better than nothing;
memory and hope must somehow intersect.

Information comes at us in fits and starts.
Life’s puzzle’s in infinite pieces;
doesn’t arrive all at once in a box;
sometimes we’re sure some major pieces are lost.

Good news sometimes, bad news others.
Mostly somewhere in between,
whose final determination must wait
for more time to pass, paths to cross.

It’s hurry up and wait most of the time,
arriving at a known milestone,
waiting for the journey’s next leg to appear:
“Recalculating” life’s operative word.

Memories not only of knowledge gained,
but also of futures planned,
sunsets and evenings, new days dawning,
all hang in the balance as earth and sky touch.

Hope: once simple, pure, and light;
now queasy from life’s roller coaster;
whole-grain heavy, fibrous husks and all;
certainly different but more substantial.

Feed us from the heart, O Lord,
of your promise lived-in-skin;
richness and depth of hope that is
broken-in and not just broken-down.

© 2010 Todd Jenkins

Monday, April 19, 2010

Church Again

When the work of doing church
Overcomes the gift of being church
There comes a time in every life

We organize and plan ourselves
Into a full-blown hurricane
Of meetings, measurements, and pain

Forgetting that we ever heard
The peaceful call of Jesus’ words:
“Come to me… and I will give you rest.”

O, how we long to once more feel
Joy of resting in God’s grace
Revel in sacred time and space

Receive again your invitation
Join the worshipful congregation
Let church be church’s gift to you

© 2010 Todd Jenkins

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Bigger than That

Sometimes we have a difficult time connecting God with everyday life because of the limits of our understanding. Other times it is because of the limits of our expectation. A couple of Sundays ago, during worship, I experienced a little of both.

As you may know, we send a small gray duffle bag home with a different family at the end of worship each week. We ask them to put something in it and bring it back before worship the next week. During worship, Pastor Jessi or I open the bag and attempt to make a connection between its contents and the life of faith.

It looked like a large black and gray speckled rock that had been tumbled smooth from many years in a river bed. But it weighed only an ounce or two. It was about the size of those souvenir footballs the cheerleaders throw into the stands at football games. The ends were a bit more rounded than a football—more like a rugby ball—and there was a small hole at each end. I couldn’t tell if it was hollow or filled with something extremely lightweight.

My first guess was that it was a float for a trot line or crab trap. Finally I had to ask. “It’s an Emu egg,” I was told. An egg? Really? That big? I was so taken aback by the sheer size of this egg that my mind went blank. Had I not been so surprised that an egg could be that large, I could have made all sorts of connections between it and our faith practice. Between my surprise and the time it took to correctly identify the object, I failed to make any everyday life and faith connections.

That’s the way it is with God, sometimes. I get so comfortable with the little bit about God I think I’ve figured out that I don’t make room for any more. I’m not expecting and I don’t allow myself to imagine anything more. An old friend once told me, “Each time you think you’ve figured out what God can or will do, don’t forget: God is bigger than that.”

© 2010 Todd Jenkins

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Garden Prayer

Creation began in a garden, O God.
Resurrection did also.
And now we have taken
the blooming flowers of
our own and other gardens
and placed them on a cross
to remind us that we are all your gardeners.

We dig with our hands,
we plant in our hearts;
we water with our tears.
We wait for life to scatter
its unfragrant fertilizer, its refuse.

We wait for you to send your Son.
And new life is raised up;
raised up in places we had given up for dead;
raised up in places we didn’t know existed;
raised up in lives we wouldn’t have
given you two cents for.

You’ve heard us speak the names
and verbalize the circumstances
that frighten us most;
the people and places where
resurrection hope is sorely needed.

Show us this day, and
every day of our lives,
glimpses of your
unimaginable resurrection power,
that we may live as
fully Eastered people;
that we may reveal your grace
to all generations now and forevermore. Amen.

© 2010 Todd Jenkins