A Prayer by Walter Brueggemann – “Sustained by Angels”

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Maybe we have not thought much about Satan,
either in glib self-regard,
or in rejection of such silly speculation,
or in a way more urbane and benign
than to imagine such a character.

Except that as we begin our strenuous Lenten trek,
we are aware that the power of resistance is at work in our midst,
that the force of negation is alive and well,
that our best will is contradicted
by stuff that surges
against our best selves,
that we, even we, are prone to our
several addictions that render us helpless.

So we pray in the Lenten season,
give us primitive freedom to
take full stock of Satan and the power of
evil still among us in our prosperity
and pride an sophistication,
and give us primitive openness
to your ministering angels
who are present with care and gentleness
and great nourishment.

In the Lenten season, give us freedom
to reconfigure our lives
as a testing field between the force of Satan
and the food of your angels.

Enter our lives with power for newness,
deliver us from a sense of naïve mastery,
and give us honest contact with our vulnerability.

Enter the deep places of our life and claim us for your purposes.
We would be more free than we are,
more bold than we dare,
more obedient than we choose.

We wait for the gift of your large gift of life
that will wrench us away from death
to the miracle of Easter joy. Amen

By Walter Brueggemann, biblical scholar and teacher, from Prayers for a Privileged People.

Eastbrook at Home – May 3, 2020

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Join us for worship with Eastbrook Church through Eastbrook at Home as we continue our new series, “The Final Word: Knowing Christ through Hebrews.” This weekend we will explore Hebrews 2.

Join in with a virtual small group on the sermon every Sunday, now at two times: 9:30 AM or 4 PM. More info here.

Each Sunday beginning at 8 AM, you can participate with our weekly worship service at home with your small group, family, or friends. This service will then be available during the week until the next Sunday’s service starts.

As we continue to tweak this experience, please let us know your experience by emailing us here. You can also access or download the service directly via Vimeo or the Eastbrook app.

If you are not signed up for our church emailing list, please sign up here. Also, please remember that during this time financial support for the church is critical as we continue minister within our congregation and reach out to our neighborhood, city, and the world at this challenging time. Please give online or send in a donation to support the ministry of Eastbrook Church.

A Prayer inspired by Hebrews 1:5-14

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Throughout our new series “The Final Word: Knowing Christ through Hebrews,” I am writing prayers related to the text on which we are preaching each week. This prayer is drawn from Hebrews 1:5-14. The complete list of prayers from Hebrews is included at the bottom of this post. You could also view my message, “Jesus, King of Angels,” from this passage here.

Lord Jesus Christ, we exalt You
as the Name above every name;
the only One worthy of sitting
at the right hand of the Father.

You are the Lord of hosts,
and the King of the angels,
who Scripture tells us
worship around Your throne.

We admit that sometimes we lose our way,
letting other messages and messengers captivate us
in ways that belong only to You,
who truly are the final Word of God.

Once again, we ask You
to open the eyes of our hearts
not only to the hope to which You have called us,
but also to the glory of who You are. 

All this we pray, through Your name, Jesus,
which is greater than any other name,
to whom, with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
be all honor and glory, now and forever.
Amen.

 


Prayers from Hebrews:

Eastbrook at Home – April 26, 2020 – African Global Gateway

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Join us for worship with Eastbrook Church through Eastbrook at Home. This weekend, we continue our new series, “The Final Word: Knowing Christ through Hebrews,” looking at Hebrews 1:5-14, while also celebrating an African Global Gateway weekend. Global Gateway weekends at Eastbrook usually involve both culturally specific worship service elements from within our congregation and a meal afterwards. While we cannot do the latter, we celebrate with our brothers and sisters from around the continent of Africa this weekend.

Each Sunday beginning at 8 AM, you can participate with our weekly worship service at home with your small group, family, or friends. This service will then be available during the week until the next Sunday’s service starts.

As we continue to tweak this experience, please let us know your experience by emailing us here. You can also access or download the service directly via Vimeo or the Eastbrook app.

Join in with a virtual small group on the sermon every Sunday, now at two times: 9:30 AM or 4 PM. More info here.

If you are not signed up for our church emailing list, please sign up here. Also, please remember that during this time financial support for the church is critical as we continue minister within our congregation and reach out to our neighborhood, city, and the world at this challenging time. Please give online or send in a donation to support the ministry of Eastbrook Church.

An Angel at the Altar

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William Blake, The Angel Appearing to Zacharias, pen and black ink, tempera, and glue size on canvas; 1799-1800.

an angel at the altar
heaven’s glory shatters earth’s sanctity
a voice indescribable yet understandable
a promise of hope unimaginable
confusion for old Zechariah
“our age – my wife – a baby – God – now?”
his call and God’s response
no utterance or voice now
his silence itself a testimony
that speaks of the ineffable
what has happened
what is happening
the first flutter of life within Elizabeth
gestates a voice of hope for humanity

 


 

I wrote these words after reading and reflecting on Luke 1:5-25 as part of my Advent readings. Zechariah has always struck me as a figure we all could relate to from Scripture. He encounters and angel of the Lord in the Temple, the place of all places that it seems like such a thing should happen. Yet Zechariah is so overwhelmed and confused by the message the angel brings that he doubts it could be possible. Struck dumb until the birth of the child, his silence becomes a message, even as the baby that his wife, Elizabeth, carries in her womb will be “a voice of one crying out,” directing attention to the Messiah. There is so much in here about speaking and silence, hearing and responding, as part of God’s work in relationship to humanity.