Food for Thought-Custer Isn’t Dead

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When George Custer was kicked out,
of the little Big Horn Band,
Sitting Bull found a new singer ,
to lead his Buffalo Jam,
the white man was all too eager,
to sing the Dakota blues,
with rhythms that never ran,
and harmonies blind men new,
Custer is not dead,
No,
he’s languishing in an interminable queue,
waiting to perform,
“The Bloodshed Blues”

–Richard Bryant

Food for Thought-The Predicament of Advent (Prayer for December 10th, 2015)

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Gracious God,

We want to make Advent a journey toward joy. Help us to remember, this time is not a static celebration of doing things because the calendar has turned the page to the designated month for parties and decorations. Forgive us for being controlled by schedules of our own well-planned design. We are part of a movement, an action, an embrace of something larger than our best traditions can ever hope to contain; the Kingdom of God. May we embrace the unexpected, unplanned, and unknown at the heart of Gabriel’s message to Mary, “Do Not Be Afraid”. May we join the Advent movement with joy, may our hearts be filled with hope, and may our ears listen with expectation to each person we encounter along the Advent path.

Amen

–Richard Bryant

Food for Thought-Bethlehem

Bethlehem Map

It is easy to miss on the map,
You can’t get there from here,
Except by the most difficult means,
The driver, the station, the car,
The journey, a slog, a crawl,
One interminable mental blur,
Easing in the approaching lights.
Questions are asked,
Papers shown,
Bribes paid,
No, these are not the Galileans,
The ones you seek,
They are not here.
There was no room,
As you may see,
They have moved,
Where animals sleep.
Surely, the sheer audacity,
Of unwashed love,
Grace made messy,
Undefined and unrestrained,
Is present,
In this hidden place.

–Richard Bryant

Food for Thought-Breaking Point (A Prayer for the 2nd Week of Advent)

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Gracious God,
We are overwhelmed,
With lists demanding to be done,
Money to be spent when there is none,
Entertaining to be offered,
Parties to be attended,
Lights to be seen,
And we reach our breaking points,
The façade of celebration crumbles,
Music becomes noise,
Smiles become blank stares,
Wishes fade into early sunsets,
Grant us the grace,
Not to look beyond,
But into the world around us,
For within the mass of wrapping paper,
Cluttered rooms and never ending claims on our time,
The incarnation becomes a reality.
We are told to await a God who is with us,
Among us, and pitching a tent in our souls.
A God dwelling in the most unlikely of places and
redeeming the most unwilling of people,
People like us,
Breaking point people,
Who can no longer hide our brokenness
nor fix on our own what we’ve done and left undone.
Free of us of the limits we impose on your grace,
whether we are looking the mirror or across the street.

We wait in grace and peace. We release the lists so that we may better hold you close when you come, Blessed Infant,  God with us.

Amen

–Richard Bryant