Thursday, November 29, 2012

Advent Surprise

God of shepherds, star and angel voices,
we confess that we haven’t given much thought
to the impossible. 
We are too busy living the
planned and the predictable.
 In our families, our vocations
and our social circles, we have
everything possible scheduled,
and there is little time or energy left
for anything else. 
We pray that you will find a way
to reach us in spite of our busyness—
that you’ll forgive our shortsightedness
and our unimaginativeness. 
In your abundant mercy,
surprise us again this year with
the gift of Immanuel—God with us.  Amen.

© 2012 Todd Jenkins

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Pregnant Advent

It’s too early to start a new year.

But the holy calendar
bids us turn a new leaf.

We wanted to finish the year
with a flourish, doing Christmas  up “right”.

The prophet’s call is to prepare anew-
to patiently wait until it is “the right time.”

Can we at least plan-
can we have a Cesarean Christmas?

We can only make preparations.
It is up to the Spirit to induce delivery.

Let us immerse ourselves in worship
that exposes us to spiritual nesting!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Advent's Call

As the sun's angle stretches and the winter chill deepens, 
we slide into darkness, and depression often hovers near.

Harvest has come and gone, and springtime's possibility
 seems a dream too distant for reasonable investment.

But we are operating on a calendar that defies logic; 
one that senses hope from a deeper place.

Let us trust the fire of your promise, O God; 
let us dare to dream the birth of your holy advent.

We will watch and prepare our hearts and our world 
for your nascent arrival, O God. 
We will celebrate your great adventure!

© 2012 Todd Jenkins

Monday, November 26, 2012

Advent Confession

We confess, O Bethlehem babe,
that we are not only impatient for
your arrival, we are also not much interested
in having you grow up and speak
your prophetic deliverance to us,
because our ego and entitlement convince us
that we have done a pretty good job
of delivering ourselves.

In the quiet moments between our holiday busyness,
give us insight to recognize your holy day presence,
and the courage to follow you far beyond
the manger, to all the people and places where
we are both called to and capable of
fertilizing and watering your grace
with every fiber of our beings.

© 2012 Todd Jenkins

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


The compound word has been co-opted,
not just by our national holiday,
but also by the commercialized pressure cooker
of the year-end retail bonanza;

Black Fridayed into a buying frenzy,
oblivious to the antithetical nature
of the whole holy day season,
tempted to equate overindulgence with blessing.

Then, the two words fall apart,
sometimes shattered by pain and loss,
other times by grace’s gag reflex,
momentarily glimpsing us the road ahead

like lightning flashes on a starless, dirt road night;
and we feel the connection between giving and thanks
viscerally, nourished by this relationship in ways
that finally satisfy hunger of the soul’s depth.

Thanksgiving is a gift, not for self or hoarding,
but for connecting our own threads
to the universe’s rich tapestry, extending
far beyond our own fences and gates;

it is neither virtue nor option,
not a way to live, but the essence of life itself;
holy extension of love that breathed us into being;
omni-dimensional reflection of divine design.

May we find ourselves, O God, early, often, and
far beyond the fourth Thursday of November,
offering thanks and glad to give from
the abundance of your creation’s treasure.

© 2012 Todd Jenkins

Monday, November 12, 2012

Spirit, Spirit!

Acts 1:3 After his suffering,
he presented himself to them
and gave many convincing proofs
that he was alive.
He appeared to them
over a period of forty days and
spoke about the kingdom of God.

Disciples’ reunion – forty days –
makes us pine for ways of old.
Convinced we are already bold,
hard to wrap heads ‘round God’s ways.

Spirit, Spirit, how you blow!
Give us tremors, wide-eyed wonder,
tongues of fire, claps of thunder,
overpowering all we know.

Breaking out we know not where,
not just language, signs, and power.
Off’ring more than worship’s hour;
people filled with love and care!

Every day a brand new start:
grace o’erflows, forgiveness pours,
like the oceans’ boundless shores.
Doors are opened: eye, ear, heart.

Once we sink connection’s root,
joy and purpose finally bloom,
open flow’r leaves Spirit room,
hunger’s depth finds holy fruit!

© 2012 Todd Jenkins

Friday, November 9, 2012


The God of the Hebrews
called slaves out of Egypt’s bondage.

Let us journey into wilderness
to be formed into God’s people.

Jesus called fishermen
away from their boats.

Let us offer our livelihoods
to become faithful disciples.

The resurrected Christ called believers
beyond Jerusalem to become apostles.

Let us answer Christ’s call
to follow the gospel into every nation.

The Holy Spirit calls the church
to go out into the world.

Let us follow the wind, wherever it blows,
responding in fresh and grace-filled ways.     

© 2012 Todd Jenkins

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Holy Purpose

2 Corinthians 9:5 So I thought it necessary 
to urge the brothers to go on ahead to you, 
and arrange in advance for this bountiful gift 
that you have promised, so that it may be 
ready as a voluntary gift and not as an extortion.

Holy Purpose

As long as our culture
operates by the economy of scarcity
and self-definition via competition,

we will always create an imaginary line
in the measure of productivity
beyond which many people will decide

 they are entitled to hoard and hide,
without recognizing the way
this gating defies our holy purpose.

No longer do we have
the understanding that ability
is a gift to be purposed for creation;

instead we find ourselves
privatizing the math of creativity
with no possible factor beyond

the lonely little X of self.
Surrounded by our stuff,
 we devolve into endless appetites.

Lord, help us find our way
back to the table of community
and abundance where none are uninvited!

© 2012 Todd Jenkins

Friday, November 2, 2012

For a Governing Body

Creator of all that was, all that is, and all that is to come, we invoke your presence, here in this room, at this time. 

Creator of all those who had power in the past, those who have power now, and those who will have power in the days to come; remind us this evening that you are also creator of those who never had, do not now have, and never will have power; and we are charged with using the power we have been given to protect the powerless.

Creator of all those who had voice and influence in the past, those who have voice and influence now, and those who will have voice and influence in the days to come; do not let us forget that you are also creator of those who never had, do not now have, and never will have voice and influence; and we are responsible for hearing and giving voice to the silent cry of the voiceless.

Creator of all those who had money in the past, those who have money now, and those who will have money in the days to come; convince us that you are also the creator of those who never had, do not now have, and never will have money; and we are the ones who must spend money for the widow, the orphan, and the sojourner.

Creator of all those who voted in the past, those who vote now, and those who will vote  in the days to come; remind us that you are also creator of all those who have never voted, do not now vote, and will never vote; and we are the ones whose votes will be tallied for those who do not count; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who taught us to pray, as we join our voices together and pray: Our father, who art in heaven.......

© 2012 Todd Jenkins