Did you long to make them proud? Was it seeing God in your people yearning to live free? Was it us - the future ones, now enfleshed? More important than your answers is simply your assurance that you asked the same questions as budding prophets today and kept living love anyway.
When so much of our world is groaning with injustice and destruction, we are invited to turn to God and one another. We are not meant to carry the struggles of the world alone. And so, in a spirit of collective embrace, may we share together in prayer for all that troubles our hearts.
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For all of the bodies in suffering - deprived of resources, withheld from care, or made into targets of violence. For all whose spirits are in despair - those who are facing loss or grief, those who are isolated, or those struggling to accept their own worth. For all of the ways power is wielded over communities and individuals - for those living under oppressive forces, for the temptation towards complicity with injustice, and for the ways the church sometimes uses you, o God, as a weapon rather than a tool for healing and liberation.
For your presence within and around us, in our highs and lows, our hope and our despair, God, we give you thanks. Therefore, my siblings, remain strong. Let nothing move you from resistance. Keep giving yourselves fully to God and know you do not labor in vain.
Your stories shared are not in vain. Your solidarity is not in vain. Your proclamation is not in vain. Your protests are not in vain. Your phone calls are not in vain. Your survival is not in vain.
Your hope is not in vain. Your care for one another is not in vain.watch
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Those in power come and go but the Spirit of Life is eternal. She takes all our offerings shared for Love's sake and multiplies them. Look not to thrones of power for the fruit of your labor. Is a single sister encouraged because you shared your story? Is a single brother committing to deepen his commitment to challenging toxic masculinity?
Is a single nonbinary beloved encouraged by your protests in the street? The power of God, the ultimate power-with, makes a mockery of patriarchy, makes queer and transphobia bend low, makes white supremacy kiss the feet of justice, makes every spirit of destruction tremble at the sound of collective voices rising. Tend to your pain but do not let them convince you that your work is in vain. Every act of resistance in the directions of Love and Justice shall bring forth Life. Listen, God is howling at the moon.
Let the strange come out of hiding. Let imagination rise from the grave. When destruction is made normal, we need all the wild, all the odd, all the unusual we can get. Blessed be the tricksters, stirring up trouble when evil desires calm. Praise God for the prophets who linger with us like ghosts. When evil is lurking in broad daylight, We practice our courage in the night. Nourish that which has bite, Unleash the impulse to scream, Feed the desire to haunt the unjust.
Beware of false prophets. They wear religious garb and make pronouncements from their positions on high.
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They speak patronizingly of love, of learning to get along, of overcoming our differences while turning their eyes and minds from imbalances of power. They throw the sheep in their care into the same pens as the wolves of white supremacy the wolves of heterosexism the wolves of misogyny the wolves of transphobia the wolves of capitalism. It nourishes only for a moment, no nutrients for the roots. You will know those who preach good news by their fruits. By their words, have the oppressed been set free?
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Have their teachings resulted in actions of justice? Do their ways lead to a world turned on its head, the lowly lifted up and the powerful brought low? Take heed: there are some who preach love but the love is shallow. It keeps them secure. It keeps things comfortable. It shifts things only enough to meet the present version of "culturally acceptable. The love of God is just - it disrupts and transforms oppressive power for the benefit of all. The justice of God is loving - it heals and frees and makes new for the benefit of all.
They will tell you of green pastures, But lead you to barren lands. God our Mother, you bear for us new possibilities. God our Lover, we crave you. You seduce us into hope, you lure us onto paths of justice. God our Friend, in you, we find companionship. You sustain us when we are weary, you embolden us in our gifts, you delight us with your wonder. The body of God is soft. She delights in her tummy rolls. She takes pride in the strength of her thighs. She rejoices in every curve. She hides none of her body in shame. Every inch is beloved.
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Your body is a site of the Divine. In and through your body, you-enfleshed, we all come to know God. Your body is blessed. May you nourish it: with love with acceptance with pride with pleasure. When you, when your flesh, is targeted with destructive lies, may you hear the voice of God whispering to it tenderly, "you are perfect as you are. You will find God there. Love one another's bodies. Love all bodies.
We cannot know God without bodies. Thanks be for the flesh that reveals beauty, truth, and love. God, you have filled our lives with abundant manifestations of your creative hand.
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