Exile: A Good Friday prayer, it seems…

on reading 1 & 2 Kings                                                           
prayers for a privileged people.jpg
Like the ancients, we know about ashes,
    and smoldering ruins,
    and collapse of dreams,
    and loss of treasure,
    and failed faith,
    and dislocation,
    and anxiety, and anger, and self-pity.

For we have watched the certitudes and
of our world evaporate.

Like the ancients, we are a
mix perpetrators,
   knowing that we have brought this on
         ourselves, and a
         mix of victims,
                  assaulted by others who rage against us.

Like the ancients, we weep in honesty                                                                                                                   at a world lost
    and the dread silence of your absence.                                                                                                          

    We know and keep busy in denial,                                                           
Walter Brueggeman picture.jpg    but we know.

Like the ancients, we refuse the ashes,
    and watch for newness.
    Like them, we ask,
    “Can these bones live?”

Like the ancients, we ask,
    “Is the hand of the Lord shortened,
       that the Lord cannot save?”

Like the ancients, we ask,
    “Will you at this time restore what was?”

And then we wait:
    We wait through the crackling of fire,
                and the smash of buildings
                and the mounting body counts,
                and the failed fabric of
                   medicine and justice and education.

We wait in a land of strangeness,
    but there we sing, songs of sadness
                songs of absence,
                belatedly songs of praise,
                acts of hope
                gestures of Easter,
                gifts you have yet to give
                                                          Walter Brueggemann
                                                          Prayers for a Privileged People
                                                          Abingdon Press (2008)   $19.00