Saturday, February 13, 2010

Unexpected Retreat

Thirty inchs of snow recently fell in my Little Burg, delivering the blessing of the teacher's favorite: Snow Days.  Several Snow Days. 

So far, we are slated to miss six days of school.  As I write, a ten- to twenty-inch snowfall presses in on us.  My non-teacher friends are not amused.  Parents of my small students are not amused.  But, I feel no guilt whatsoever.

I am delighted.

Not because I don't have to work (but, come on, who doesn't love an unexpected "Take the week off!" announcement?)  But, because I get to spend the day home bound with books, books, books.

My new favorite is Walter Brueggermann.  I've read him before, but never with the focus of the past few days.  I've been studying the prophets - especially Jeremiah - in an effort to figure out why this prophet is stalking me.  He appears in my dreams, my friends tell me that something in my life evokes a verse from Jeremiah, my prayer group prays it, he's in the lectionary one week, and then the next week even though he's not in the lectionary -- the priest preaches him.

So, Walter Brueggermann has written a lot on the prophets.  But, his gift, the one that has me doing virtual backflips is his poetic prayers.  Here's one:

A hard, deep call to obedience

You are the God who makes extravagant promises,
We relish your great promises
of fidelity
and presence
and solidarity
and we exude in them.
Only to find out, always too late,
that your promise always comes
in the midst of a hard, deep call to obedience.
You are the God who calls people like us,
and the long list of motehrs and fathers before us,
who trusted the promise long enough to keep the call.
So we give you thanks that you are a calling God,
who calls always to dangerous new places.
We pray enough of your grace and mercy among us
that we may be among those
who believe your promises enough
to respond to your call.
We pray in the one w ho embodied your promise
and enacted your call,even Jesus.  Amen.
In anticipation of reading Jeremiah 1-2/2000

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