Brace Yourself by Leaning into Liturgy
Dear Kaleid Ladies,
First of all, thank you for your engagement with us as we have been sharing a lot of email love this week, promoting the fall Kaleid Circles. We’re grateful for the community of women who are coming together in the areas of seeing ourselves, seeing others, and seeing our city as we seek to faithfully follow Jesus in the messiness of our everyday lives and spaces. We do hope you’ll join us.
But today, we are coming back to the question of what it means to “brace ourselves” this fall. All of us are tempted to white knuckle this complicated political, social, and cultural season in our nation. At Kaleid, we are asking if there are ways to “brace ourselves” not by gritting our teeth to survive but by leaning into practices and patterns that will fortify us to be able to love well.
We are letting civil rights leader Dr. Howard Thurman lead the way for us.
Dr. Thurman was a man of prayer and contemplation. His prayers are reflective and honest, inviting us back into the heart of our faith. This particular prayer, this confession, is a beautiful way to practice the most powerful thing about being a Christian--to practice the reality of Christ’s redemption by engaging confession, repentance, and forgiveness in relationships.
I LAY BEFORE YOU
The concern which I lay bare before You today is:
Whatever disaffection there is between me and those who are or have been very close to me— I would seek the root or cause of such disaffection, and with the illumination of Your mind, O God, to understand it.
I give myself to Your scrutiny that, whatever there may be in me that is responsible for what has happened, I will acknowledge.
Where I have wronged or given offense deliberately or without intention, I seek a face-to-face forgiveness.
What I can undo I am willing to try; what I cannot undo, with that I seek to make my peace.
How to do these things, what techniques to use, with what spirit— for these I need and seek Your wisdom and strength, O God.
Whatever disaffection there is between me and those who are or have been very close to me, I lay bare before You.
No doubt we have relationships where there is “disaffection.” How could we not, when we are in such close quarters and when conversations are so high stakes?
The beauty of liturgical rhythms such as Thurman’s example of confession and forgiveness is that they keep us grounded and growing. They are the church’s well worn path through the valley of the shadow of death and into the resurrected life of Christ. By embracing liturgical patterns, we remember to wait. We remember to grieve. We remember to celebrate. We remember to repent. We remember to give thanks. We remember resurrection. We remember one another. We remember the relational, Trinitarian love of God as it touches our today.
And so, today, if the plumbing of your soul feels clogged with relational anxiety, worry, frustration, or disaffection, we invite you to take time to enter into the liturgy of confession and relational repair, seeking God’s strength and God’s wisdom through Thurman’s words.
Allow the Holy Spirit to illuminate your heart and do a cleansing work as you remember that grace is God’s most precious final word over relational disruption. And be fortified.
We love you.
The Kaleid Team
P.S. Today is Wednesday. On Wednesdays (starting next week!) we will be gathering for Contemplative Mornings with Kaleid from 6:30 - 7:10. Over nine weeks, we will learn three contemplative practices that lead us into liturgical life rhythms: the Prayer of Examen, Visio Divina, and the Jesus Prayer. Won’t you join us?
P.S. (also) If you like this reminder to practice liturgical rhythms, may we suggest the app Daily Prayer as something you might enjoy?