Prayer before reading scripture aloud that has a personal meaning

God, these were the precious words
from my mother’s funeral,
or the wedding text for my friend
who has recently divorced,
or the passage I heard
just before I made a decision
that changed my life.

(Here’s looking at you:
“shake the dust off the sandals.”)

Remind me that this is going to be —
another story
for another listener,
a psalm of comfort for another grief,
someone else’s scorching prophecy.

Remind me that not only
should I set down my baggage,
but even strip naked,
if I want to proclaim this text
as holy, new,
and not my possession.

Finally, remind me that then
it can also be
another story for me. amen.

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2 Responses to Prayer before reading scripture aloud that has a personal meaning

  1. nigel says:

    Maren – thank you for these prayers of enlightenment. I’ve used a couple, but more than that it has been an exercise in spiritual discipline to use them for my preaching and for my day. Thank you for this gift.

    • Maren says:

      Thank you, Nigel. That is truly more the intention of these prayers than to put in a bulletin. It has been my Lenten discipline to think through each of these different concerns that are about my reading scripture (or teaching lay people to read it) In a long ministry when preaching was considered the most important thing, I’ve come to realize that sermons come and go but sharing scripture with a worshiping group will stay with them for their lifetimes. Thank you so much for reading.

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