United Church of Christ

Living Psalm 118 - Creation Justice - Ritual of Palms

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 Psalms for Creation Justice
Lent, 2020

(To accompany Journey Toward Hope)

Living Psalm 118:1-2; 19-29—Creation Justice—Ritual of Palms

How many of us have paused
at the gate, waited to be asked in,
to be invited to join the celebration?

How many of us have stood, arms clasped,
toes drawing little lines in the dirt,
hoping for a glance, an unspoken
acknowledgement that we too
should step through and rejoice?

How many of us have watched
with stars in our eyes
the procession go past as we clung
to the post, sat up in the tree,
crouched by the path, a wave 
of palms passing us by?

How many of us are so deeply 
afraid of what is to come, of the death,
the keening cries of grief, the emptiness 
of the cross, that we stand outside the circle
and allow the words of joyful praise
to remain unuttered on our lips?

The one who enters in will be blessed.

The one who risks ebullience
in the face of scorn will be blessed.

The one who dances wildly
and warmly with neighbor
and stranger alike will be blessed.

The one who meets the specters 
of the past with courage 
and refuses to yet be beaten by 
future pains will be blessed.

You are the one standing at the gate. 
Will you wait on the threshold
of hope, or will you turn and grab
hold of those behind you. 

Living Psalm 118-1-2, 19-29 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 Faith INFO Team, United Church of Christ, 700 Prospect Avenue, Cleveland, OH  44115-1100.  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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