Prayer for Ordinary Time (Week 9 after Pentecost)

This prayer comes from my reflection on John 6:1-21 which is the gospel reading from the Lectionary for today. This is a particularly apt passage for ‘ordinary time’ in that Jesus takes the paltry offering of  one boy’s five flat loves and a couple of fish and uses it to do the extraordinary–feed a crowd of five thousand men (plus women and children). The passage ends with the disciples straining at the oars, four miles from shore. Jesus walks to them and calms the storm.

Jesus,

You are the extraordinary God we follow

and we are wowed that your ways are not our ways

and the things that you do defy explanation and confound us.

 

We are like the disciples sometimes.

We gladly serve you with the sweat of our brow.

We are grateful for the little miracles we’ve seen and we trust you a little

But you always  surprise us with great things.

 

We are like the little boy.

What we have to offer, may feed ourselves

or us and a friend,

but as we survey the crowds we know that the need is too great

for anything we have. And yet. . .

 

And yet you take our small offerings, with thanksgiving

multiply it until no one goes hungry and all eat their fill.

Thank you Lord for using us even though

all that we have is inadequate.

 

But Jesus, we are also like the crowds.

We come and eat our fill, we dine on what you offer

and eagerly and forcefully declare you our king–

on our terms,

our way.

 

But you do not give in to demands

but refuse to be forced.

We feel your withdrawal when we

ask you to be what you have no intention of

being (You are King but not the King we would make you to be).

 

But in our struggles and straining, you are never far

but come and meet us, walking on the waves when we are out of reach of shore

Calm the terror that rises in us at the sight of you and take us with you where you are going.

 

Amen.

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