United Church of Christ

Living Psalm 114 - Pentecost 15 A

Living Psalms Book

Psalms in the form of words and art, reborn in the specific contexts of our world, privileging the voices of historically marginalized communities and those acting in solidarity with them.


Living Psalm 114—Pentecost 15 A


The first instinct is to flee
when we hear God’s voice call out.
We are not the first to do so.
The stories are as old as our faith,
older even - God speaks to us
and we run as hard as we can
in the other direction.

When running fails,
we hide. We bury our heads
and wait, ignoring the call.
Surely, we think, surely
God will tire of us eventually
and move on to another
more enthusiastic pray-er.

But God does not have one body,
as we do, that fatigues or forgets.
God will wait until we emerge,
shivering and afraid, into the grace
of that call. The question is not
how long God can wait for us.

God can wait for us.
Justice cannot. 
God’s people cannot.

When we flee God’s call -
when that voice tells us to put 
aside our own fear in order
to protect and uproot,
to demand dignity for all,
to be responsible for the safety
of God’s beloved children -
and we fail to act, it is not God 
who pays the price.

It is Us. 
It is any whose protections 
have been systematically stripped away.
It is any who cannot choose to blend in or flee.
It is any who proclaim God’s word
without doing its work.

Remember this:
running away is privilege;
hiding is privilege; waiting for another 
to answer God’s call
is an answer.


Living Psalm 114—Pentecost 15 A was written by Maria Mankin.

Living Psalms Book is created by UCC Witness & Worship Artists’ Group, a Network of UCC connected artists, activists and ministers bridging the worship and liturgy of the local church with witness and action in the community.  Maren Tirabassi, editor

Logo is detail from Living Psalm 80 by Sophia Beardemphl, Redwoods, CA. Recovering from significant bullying, Sophia, age nine, read Psalm 80 and thought of brokenness that needs mending. She drew this broken and mended bowl.

© Copyright 2020 Maria Mankin.  Permission granted to reproduce or adapt this material for use in services of worship or church education.  All publishing rights reserved. 

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