Forever


Nothing of wood or even stone is forever

But the heart that beat in it;
the soft intercessions
The fervent witness
The hope
Is not lost
It is in You, Holy One. 
It is in You  

Holy One,

Sometimes it is hard to see,
As with seeds
What is growing in the world
Offering a harvest to lay over the places where torn is written on the vivid earth.

Open our hearts
to know the way things grow in secret
To the way that things linger present even when we cannot see them
To the way blessing disperses from the past
like the word on a prayer flag;
its fading qualities as soft as smoke
touching the air

Sung response
Let me be a prayer flag
Quiet, bright and free
Let your moving through me
A growing blessing be   (CES)

The breeze blows through glassless windows of a once beloved building
and though some of us are only relieved
some of us feel the sad stitch in our hearts that draws us to your promise of redemption
The assurance that kingdom work is never lost
even in what seems to be an ending.
Even in a space that seems to be empty
we celebrate with courage what we can no longer see.

We hold it now
not tightly clamped inside us
but written on the bright prayer flags of memory and heart
Written to be lifted by the life that is now
It is in us and for the world

Sung response

We recall now those of vision and of prudence
The gentle and cantankerous
Those who carried the heaped silver trays of communion
Those who cooked turkey and washed dishes
Those who organized us and taught us to serve tea
Those who mourned and those who comforted
Those who valued the work and play of children
Those whose hearts were for mission
Those with whom we disagreed

We recall the weddings and the baptisms and the memorials
Some of them our own or for those we loved
They are not lost
They surround us with presence
They grow in us and in the world like hidden seed
The blessing of all that was spreads through us now and out into the world
like the fading of words on a prayer flag

Sung response

Holy One
We recall the builders of the great cathedrals
One generation hewing the stone for a work they would never live to see finished
Sowing the seed that would rise in some other time
We recall their belief in the pure value of the work itself
Their freedom from the need to see outcome and completion

Let us know ourselves as workers for the whole cloth of God
The kingdom
Co-workers with those who have come before
And those who will come after
Let us know the blessings of past planting
Written on lives as on a prayer flag
Let us know the blessings of the past released,
freed as a timeworn building fades

Let us imagine this as the song of our forebears
And let it be our song too

Sung response

Nothing of wood or even stone is forever
But the heart that beat in it; the soft intercessions
The fervent witness
The hope
Is not lost
It is in You, Holy One.
It is in You

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2017-11-17T19:18:58+00:00 By |2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Ara Parker September 27, 2015 at 9:23 pm - Reply

    Catherine – Thinking of you this week. I heard from a member of the congregation of Robertson Wesley Church here in Edmonton that they have just received the resignation of one of their two ministers and will be putting a search committee together soon. This is a very arts intergrated church – thought you might be interested? Ara

    • Catherine Smith September 28, 2015 at 4:21 pm - Reply

      Ara, checked out the site of Robertson Wesley and saw some energizing things happening. My heart though, is in the Maritimes. Now that I’ve come close to the ocean again I know how much I missed it.

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