Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A Lost Prayer About Being Willing to Follow...

About 12 years ago I wrote a Theological reflection on Celtic Spirituality and the idea of green martyrdom, that is leaving your home for the sake of the gospel, as a metaphor for ministry. It had been sitting gathering dust amongst all my papers until we were forced to tidy them in the face of new uncertainty and a looming move... timely I wonder.

As part of that reflection I wrote a prayer (which I have always felt was rather long and a bit pretentious. It was a reflection about moving from a ministry situation in Rotorua to train in Dunedin in the deep south of New Zealand, a whole different Island, a whole different world. But it is a Prayer which I thought expressed the adventure of Following Jesus into future ministry situations and being prepared to leave the familiar to seek the kingdom be it place or out of those comfort zones that we tend to find ourselves settling in. So even after twelve years of gathering dust it still expresses my hearts desire, and probably my lack of poetic ability.

You'll probably note the bits from other prayers. St Brendan's, Sir Francis Drake and St Patricks breast plate, as well as a couple of lines and sentiment  from the book of Ruth.

God who formed the sea and the land,
who spoke and the waves rolled and the wind blew,
who flung stars and galaxies into space,
and breathed life into our clay forms
we give you praise

In Christ, You know what it is like to journey,
you left your heavenly existence to live amongst us,
you chose to give up the comforts of house and home,
to teach and heal freely as you roamed,
you experienced the joys and sorrows
ebbs and flows of our life,
then out of love you gave your life for us,
nailed to across, dead and buried but not ended.
you rose from the grave and you are seated at the God's right hand
yet in a real way you journey with us still
present to the end of the age.

God's Holy Spirit
wild goose, spirit wind
you blow and we do not know from where it comes
or where it will lead us.
we aask you to fill our sails afresh
not to lead us to safe harbour
but out upon the wild ocean
to where our master calls us to serve.

God we have left family and home
prestige and position to follow you
the land we are in is foreign and strange
there are no familiar landmarks, by which to navigate
we miss the things and people we have left behind,
friendships that warmed our heart,
a community that embraced and nurtured us,
homes that were full of memory and meaning
it has caused sorrow in our hearts
and often we are tempted to give up the journey
or find an easier path to go by
Yet you lead us and guide us
you provide for us
you go before us and watch our back on the way
you walk alongside us

I often fear O Lord for my family and their welfare
I question what moving here and there will do to them
yet I know you love them more than I do
that you are loving and full of grace
that your plans are for our good
that you know our needs and provide
I will put my trust in you and go where you call
I will stay where you call me to stay
I will wander if you call me to move on
In all this I will continue to journey with you
Through your strength, by your spirit
As you continue to journey with me
A journey of to maturity and mission in Christ

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