Prayer for a pastor the day before Holy Week begins

God, could you send me to a scripture
that does not need to be preached next week,
something for me – maybe …

Come unto me all you who visit shut-ins
and are heavy laden with committees
and I will give you rest …

but, if I am honest, I want – inspiration.

I want you to make it easy
for me to say something new,
reality-check – something old fresh,
or just something competent
to go with the music and flowers,

side-step the “today in paradise”
or end of time dilemma,
avoid all the images
of gratuitous painography,

be faithful to all those
sweet, wet-handed pilates
asking me, sometimes in words,
what is truth?

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11 Responses to Prayer for a pastor the day before Holy Week begins

  1. Stephen Price says:

    Yes Lord, please…

  2. dabar96 says:

    Yes! A word, a look, a space for breathing; something to remind me, again, that I’m not under pressure to make this story real or relevant. Remind me to get out of the way this week.

  3. LL says:

    Prayer answered: Finding something new to preach on Palm Sunday . . . I am pairing it with the anointing in Bethany — public cheers and private devotion. I love rubbing two scriptures together. Gives me something fresh to say about those well-known stories.

  4. Maren says:


  5. Truth for my folk this morning was kids drawing donkeys and attaching tiny palm fronds while their elders, in small groups, deconstructed your Palm Sunday poem asking what it meant for them – I didn’t offer any answers, was feeling a bit guilty until this poem reminded me of the precedent.

    • Maren says:

      Every once in a while I remember the difference in our times — and that Palm Sunday morning which is dawning to the heavy clouds has come an gone in New Zealand. Goodness I do feel very honored that you used my poem and I think would have had a lot of fun with the kids!

      • It was a beautiful sunny, calm, autumn day here (though there have been terrible floods in some parts). The kids worked had and were proud of their efforts, could only beg one to hang up – see my fb page. The poem evoked a lot of discussion. Thank you. Instead of a reflection I read a Palm Sunday story posted on our lay preachers website written by an LP but it only had one donkey so I got her permission to edit and alter – her version was too long (I have no trouble slashing words from other peoples writing)!

  6. Maren says:

    Sounds great (and always feel free to slash mine — I usually do when I actually use them)

  7. Christine says:

    The sermon this morning as I left home was like a bat fluttering around, it would not settle. I had words printed ready to read. I told my people I was enjoying patchwork and had cobbled together a quilt of a sermon for them – and then spoke of the escalation of the Syria/chemical weapons/US/Russia of the past week and how Jesus was facing the same escalation of power tension as he rode into Jerusalem … and continues to ride into the conflict in any place – world wide, national or personal. I used your poem about the donkey and foal as an invitation to allow the Spirit to enter our reading and play with us and a possible explanation how two donkeys were needed by Matthew, even if not my Jesus. All that plus two very lively hymns via the internet and two old favourites. Thank you for your so very regular offerings I feel I am in your company when I read them. Blessings to you this Holy Week and beyond.

  8. Maren says:

    Thank you, Christine, for sharing what you preached. Now that I am retired (3 months today) I am experiencing my first Holy Week in 38 years in the pew and loving it, but also thrilled that the writing I am able to do here is finding its way into worship services. That makes me feel so very, very grateful. And I get another sermon!

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