Pause for Prayer: 3/2

So many people yesterday, Lord!
Lots of "regulars" but also lots of
once-in-a-while folks
and it's-been-a-long-time people
and I welcomed them all
and was pleased to have each and every one
gathered together on Ash Wednesday..

I know, Lord, that many came just for ashes
but you gave them so much more!

You gave them our parish,
its people, its ministry, its music,
its house of prayer...

And you gave them
your word:
you spoke to us all through Joel and Paul and Matthew,
calling us to fasting and prayer, to reconciliation
and to a Lenten spring
of prayer, fasting and caring for those in need...

And you gave us all a seat at your table,
a place at your altar and when gathered together there,
you gave them yourself, your peace and your life
in the Bread and Cup of communion...

And I hope (I know!) you gave us all
the gift of your Spirit
to dwell in our hearts,
to refresh our minds and thoughts
and to lead us and guide us through Lent
to Easter and to peace with you!

I wonder how people prayed yesterday,
I wonder what they heard and what they read
and how the music touched their souls...

I wonder what they heard
in the Ash Wednesday scriptures,
in the songs we sang,
in the words I preached,
in the whisper of your presence
at their side...

For that matter,
what did I hear, Lord?
what did I find in your house of prayer?
what did I find in the psalms and hymns?
how did you touch my soul
in word and sacrament?

Perhaps these are all secrets of the heart, Lord,
but even if that's so I know
you can read the tiniest prayer etched
on a wall in a chamber, deep in my heart...

Whatever you did on Ash Wednesday, Lord,
in the hearts of each
and in the hearts of us all,
open us to your presence
and keep moving with grace in our lives
and lead us through Lent
to the joy of Easter...



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