Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Ash Wednesday Prayer

Marked by Ashes

Ruler of the Night, Guarantor of the day . . .
This day — a gift from you.
This day — like none other you have ever given, or we have ever received.
This Wednesday dazzles us with gift and newness and possibility.
This Wednesday burdens us with the tasks of the day, for we are already
halfway home
halfway back to committees and memos,
halfway back to calls and appointments,
halfway on to next Sunday,
halfway back, half frazzled, half expectant,
half turned toward you, half rather not.

This Wednesday is a long way from Ash Wednesday,
but all our Wednesdays are marked by ashes —
we begin this day with that taste of ash in our mouth:
of failed hope and broken promises,
of forgotten children and frightened women,
we ourselves are ashes to ashes, dust to dust;
we can taste our mortality as we roll the ash around on our tongues.

We are able to ponder our ashness with
some confidence, only because our every Wednesday of ashes
anticipates your Easter victory over that dry, flaky taste of death.

On this Wednesday, we submit our ashen way to you —
you Easter parade of newness.
Before the sun sets, take our Wednesday and Easter us,
Easter us to joy and energy and courage and freedom;
Easter us that we may be fearless for your truth.
Come here and Easter our Wednesday with
mercy and justice and peace and generosity.

We pray as we wait for the Risen One who comes soon.

~ Walter Bruggemann

(For over thirty years now, Walter Brueggemann (b. 1933) has combined the best of critical scholarship with love for the local church in service to the kingdom of God. Now a professor emeritus of Old Testament studies at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia, Brueggemann has authored over seventy books. Taken from his
Prayers for a Privileged People (Nashville: Abingdon, 2008), pp. 27-28. )Found on Textweek.

(Cross-posted at RevGals Prayers.)

(I am putting my favorite over at Desert Year. Link in right hand column.)


Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this poem. God wanted me to see it. I found your blog while searching for ash wednesday in decatur. I've been thinking about going to my first ever Ash Wednesday service for the last couple of days and last night my mouth tasted like an ashtray. I don't even smoke. ( :

Thank You precious Lord Jesus for speaking to Your people!

Magdalene6127 said...

I experienced a physical jolt upon reading "Easter us..."

Thank you. I needed this.

Theresa Williams said...

I like this poem and would like to write my own "this day" poem. A lovely idea for a prayer of thanksgiving. Thinking of you and loving you from the other side of the state. Word verification: pumes

Stratoz said...

a while back M was atking some seminary classes. she had a professor who used to say... "The Brugge Man is coming.."

Anonymous said...

So very lovely. And so solid feeling...don't know how else to describe it. I've seen his name before. 70 books? I'm intrigued.