Blessed Is the One

If Jesus
Was entering
Nashville today
Would the crowds wave
Dogwood branches?

A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!”
– Matthew 21:8-9

A Message from the Trees

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I walk outside
And look up at the tree
In my front yard.

Its branches, bare.
Leaves, long shed,
Were raked and carried
To the backyard months ago.

But I see buds growing in the branches,
Promising life that will return
In its season.

What message for me, for us,
In these months of fear and challenge?

That though we have lost
Hopes and dreams …
That though our plans,
Swept up,
Now lie in the bottom of dust bins …

We are alive, growing,
Dormant, but still grounded in earthy hope.

Step outside and look toward the sky.
Life and hope and promise
Are growing in hidden places,
Preparing to break forth
In beauty and strength.

The Uncluttered Heart

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Blessings to you, friends, as we have begun another Advent season. In case you are looking for The Uncluttered Heart, I wanted to direct you to its new home.

I am grateful for the chance to share the Advent journey with you through The Uncluttered Heart.

Update: To sign up to receive The Uncluttered Heart via email, choose: “Get updates about My Quiet Spaces” on the My Quiet Spaces email list.

Blessings and Love,
Beth

Love Came Down at Christmas

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Love came down at Christmas,
Love all lovely, Love divine;
Love was born at Christmas;
star and angels gave the sign.

Worship we the God-head,
Love incarnate, Love divine;
worship we our Jesus,
but wherewith for sacred sign?

Love shall be our token;
love be yours and love be mine;
love to God and others,
love for plea and gift and sign.

– Christina Rossetti, 1885

I Am Weeping, But I Don’t Know Why

  
I am weeping, but I don’t know why. 
I am weeping and knitting
And hoping that God hears the prayers of my tears.

I am weeping, but I don’t know why.
I do know why — maybe — but which why is it?
The cruelty of a church I thought I once knew
And once was proud to represent?
Sorrow and gratitude
For a friend and teacher whose life is in decline.
The stories of families
Desparate, dying,
Fleeing wars and fires and death.
This world, so terribly broken
By racism, by fear, hatred, greed.

So much pain,
So much despair, hatred, need.
And so I sit and weep and knit.
I am weeping, but I don’t know why.

Take these tears, God of Hope.
Take these stitches, Great Weaver.
Take these prayers, Gentle Lover of the Universe.
We are yours.

Tender Blooms

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Bless this tender bloom.
Beauty emerging in the turmoil of spring.
Delicate, intricate, miracle of life.
Reflecting the presence of the Holy One.

Bless this tender one,
Grieving a mother who was loved.
Losing a husband, burying a child.
Holy One, send your presence, your comfort.

Bless this tender world.
May beauty show forth in unexpected places.
New life in a refugee camp; kindness in the aftermath of terror.
Let us reflect your presence, your comfort, your love.

Holy one, we are yours.

 
 
Find more of my prayers in my book Christ Beside Me, Christ Before Me: Celtic Blessings.

A Grain of Wheat

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Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.
– John 12:24 (NRSV)

God of Justice
God of Mercy
Let me be that tiny grain

Grant me patience
In my waiting
Grant me courage
For the dying that must come

And, whether or not
I see the beauty of the golden field
Let me know deeply
Let me know truly
That I have served you well

I am yours

Ashes to Ashes

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I’ve never been that comfortable
With Ash Wednesday
With Lent
With self-examination and repentance
And being reminded of my mortality

But the one I follow was all about truth-telling
And justice
And righteousness
Rather than being comfortable

I am not that One
But I am made of clay and dust
Human to the core

May the ashes today
Remind me of my createdness
My calling to be who I am
Who I was crafted to be
Who I am becoming
As my heart, my mind, my clay is shaped
Molded by the Creator

I am yours, Loving God
Show me the way