February 16, 2010
We remember the long dark nights of Ashdod;
They were long because you stood
in the Philistine place passively;
They were dark because the gods of the Philistines
seemed to prevail.
And now we face the long, dark days of Lent:
to ponder your strange passivity
to hold deep the suffering of Jesus
to grasp afresh our fragile morality, that we too will die;
to move beyond ourselves to notice the raw loss
connected to your absence,
We name the brutality among us;
We make the greed so close to us;
We see the poor, the homeless, the exploited,
while we enjoy the easiness of the leisure class.
And then – dark and long – our eyes shift back to Ashdod;
We wait, a heavy edging toward hope,
not yet as light as hope,
as heavy as absence.
We pray in the name of the crucified. Amen.
(A Walter Brueggeman prayer for Shrove Tuesday in “Awed to Heaven, Rooted in Earth”)