TROUBLE

Dear Lord, the other day
I tripped and fell headlong
on the gravel path
of the garden.
I hurt my shoulder
and skinned my knee,
but nothing was broken.
What do you make of this, Lord?
Accidents happen?
My husband helped me up.
You, Lord, are with us
in good times and bad.
Your presence surrounds us
with love in time of trouble.

Psalm 46:1
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

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SICK

Ah, Lord, I’m not well.
I’m hot and cold and achey.
I slept most of the day yesterday.
What a relief it is to be here
in this retirement community
where my husband can get a meal
and I don’t have to worry about it.
We are grateful that our needs
are provided for.
Lord, you healed many sick people.
As a human being you understand
our weaknesses.
Give me strength in this time of illness.

Romans 8:26:
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words.

Hymn: O God, Our Help in Ages Past

WAKE-UP CALL

Ah Lord, yesterday I got dressed up
to attend a coffee that actually is today.
My husband informed me of my mistake.
I hate to admit that I didn’t
know what day it was.
I had to change clothes for the cleaning
and gardening I did yesterday.
It’s been idyllic to be so detached
from things since moving here, Lord,
but now it’s time to get connected
and consider the possibilities
of service in your kingdom in this place.

Luke 4:8:
Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.’”

Hymn: I Sing a Song of the Saints of God

GROWING OLDER

Lord, singing the hymn listed below
with the line, “I’ll be there
when you are old,”
makes me catch my breath.
It didn’t have that effect
when I was younger.
When people get up to give
my husband and I seats on the bus,
or when my daughters serve
the family dinners, I realize,
that I am considered “old.”
It’s hard to get used to, Lord.
Help me to age gracefully.

Psalm 139:7-10:
Where can I go from your spirit? Or where can I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there. If I take the wings of the morning and settle at the farthest limits of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me fast.

Hymn: I Was There to Hear Your Borning Cry

EDITH

You took her, Lord,
when she was only 98.
She was a member of our church.
She loved to hug people
and talk to them in person
or on the phone.
She wouldn’t use her walker
in church, but had someone
walk her down the aisle.
She loved everyone,
and we loved her.
Now you’ve taken her, Lord.
I know you will enjoy having her,
but we will miss her.

John 14:1-3:
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am , there you may be also.”

Hymn: For All the Saints

CHRISTMAS 2013

Ah, Lord, will the magic come this year:
the joining of reality with aspiration:
with all one hopes for—
with dreams of love and joy?
Is it yet possible to believe:
believe that good can come
to those who have lost everything
to hatred and war?
You came to save
but order has yet to be restored
and love
has become a commercial.
Can we hope for your love
that attracts us to look beyond
the not yet to the possibility
of openness of the human heart?
Will there ever be peace on earth
and love that encompasses all?
Come, Lord Jesus.

Luke 2:6-7:
While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

Hymn: O Little Town of Bethlehem

ONE MORE GIFT

Ah Lord, my efforts
at finding the perfect gift
have failed.
Time is short, and
I am getting desperate.
What store has exactly
what I am looking for?
What must you think, Lord,
of our foolish ways?
Yet, we blunder on.
You have already
given the perfect gift
of your presence among us.
Open our hearts to your gift
that we may experience
the true meaning of Christmas.

1 John 4:13:
By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit.

Hymn: Dear Lord and Father of Mankind