Psalm 63:1-8 – Lent 3C
Living Psalm 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.
A Psalm of Sengbe Pieh aka Joseph Cinqué his prayer from the boat right before the overtaking of the ship.
Ngewo-Ngewo*, there is water everywhere.
This ship holding me captive
is surrounded by water I cannot touch or drink.
We drift farther away from the land of the Mende.
Where there was water enough all.
Where the rivers whispered your name.
Where I saw you in the faces of my people.
My soul thirsts for you,
while my flesh faints from hunger and abuse.
The stars declared your presence.
The trees breathed your name.
None of this I see from the belly of this ship
where I am held captive in chains and filth
by those whose souls are dry and weary.
They say I do not know you.
I experienced you in the sacred places.
You were the sanctuary I remember.
You kept me safe and sheltered me from harm.
I saw your power in the wind, the thunder, the lighting.
Now upon these rough seas as they roll
I feel you in the swell of the waves.
Even in captivity I praise you, because I feel you near.
Ngewo-Ngewo, God of the Mende, I seek you in this place.
My soul is satisfied in you.
Your Spirit invigorates me giving me the resistance I need.
I lift up my hands and call on you for strength to deliver me.
My lips praise you, I am satisfied as with a rich feast.
I meditate on you into the quiet of the night.
My soul clings to you knowing your right hand
will vanquish my oppressors.
- Ngewo-Ngewo is the supreme god of the Mende people of Sierra Leone and Liberia.
A Psalm for Amistad Sunday
Living Psalm for Lent 3C: Psalm 63:1-8 was written by Karen Georgia Thompson.
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 2022 Karen Georgia Thompson. Permission granted to reproduce or adapt this material for use in services of worship or church education. All publishing rights reserved.