Sunday, July 25, 2010

Looked Good on Paper, eh God?

Sermon July 25, 2010
by Katie Mulligan

Scripture Readings:
Luke 11:1-13, Hosea 1:2-10, 2:1-3, 14-16

A few folks have asked me to speak about prayer. Different kinds of prayers, how one might go about praying, what is the effectiveness of prayer—there have been a number of requests in different ways, and so I thought today that I might talk about angry, desperate prayer.  Prayers that go out in the midst of harsh circumstances.  Prayers for mercy, for deliverance, for revenge. I thought, perhaps, I might start here, with anger and desperation, because so often we find ourselves in hard times, and then we find ourselves unable to pray.  We wonder, if there is a place in the church for such rage as overtakes our soul.  We imagine that Jesus would have handled our life with more grace, and that therefore we ought to as well. We question whether God is capable of handling the level of our rage and grief—and if She can, whether She will tolerate our sass past the first few words that tumble from our hearts.  We are taught, after all, to offer up songs of praise and gratitude, regardless of the circumstances. The songs of lament and prayers of imprecation dry up, and so do our souls. What good is a God who can hear only the happy endings—if this is what we are offered, I want my money back. Or whatever goat or dove I laid down on the offering table.  No, I insist upon a God who can take it all and who will abide with me through all of the twists and turns of my life, through the moments when I have caused grievous pain, and the moments when others have committed atrocities upon my person. I hope we will all gather round to hear each other’s stories, and insist that the Almighty be present and accounted for in each and every life.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


If my son's reaction to his popsicle touching his apple slice is any indication, Leviticus was written by a very small boy acting out.

Peace to you.