"To Be What We Have Seen" - A Prayer Based on Deuteronomy 34
I wrote this Pastoral Prayer for this morning's worship service, my last in that setting. More reflections about this day later on.
…when we’re paying attention…
…or when we least expect it…
…when we’re looking…
…or when we’re most unassuming…
…you show us something that we have longed to see.
We may be vigilant seekers,
reading into the boring and routine or becoming excitable at the exciting;
wanting to capture with precision and delicacy a moment that we discern is just
We may play the fool,
backing into a divine embrace;
stumbling upon a transcendent promise;
no less moved by what we have witnessed.
Regardless of circumstances, it remains that we’ve seen it, and it cannot be unseen.
You have made it seen. You have shown it to us.
You are the one who led us—willing or reluctant climbers—up the mountain.
You are the one who says to us, “I have let you see it with your eyes,
“this beloved landscape of mine,
“this long-sought destination,
“this craved place of blessing and promise.”
Now that we have seen it, what would you have us do?
Now that we have caught a slight glimpse or been given a lingering vision,
we wonder how to get to the place you’ve shown us.
It is too marvelous a place to live without,
too rich a source of life not to be shared,
too wonderful a reality to be forgotten.
You lead us back down the mountain—willing or reluctant rappellers—because there is
more to see,
and in one of your more clever twists, we have become the guides,
the ones to show rather than be shown,
the ones to help make it seen.
How best shall we move on from what you have shown?
Simply: forward, to be what we have seen
for others longing to see it.