The Easter Challenge …

Every year it happens:
earth shakes her sleepy head,
still a bit wintered and dull,
and feels new life stirring.

Every year cocoons give up their treasures,
fresh shoots push through brown leaves,
seemingly dead branches shine with green,
and singing birds find their way home.

Every year we hear the stories:

empty tomb, surprised grievers,
runners with news and revelation,
unexpected encounters,
conversations on the road,
tales of nets filling with fish,
and breakfast on a seashore.

And every year
the dull and dead in us
meets our Easter challenge:

to be open to the unexpected,
to believe beyond our security,
to welcome God in every form,
and trust in our own greening.

— Joyce Rupp from Out of the Ordinary: Prayers, Poems, and Reflections for Every Season

Springtime Prayer …

Ever-renewing and energizing Creator,
come, stir in my dormant spiritual limbs.

Wake up my tired prayer.

Revive my weary efforts of care.

Sing hope into my discouragement.

Wash my dusty, drab attitude
with the cleansing rains of your vision.

Go deep to my roots and penetrate my faith
with the vibrancy of your grace.

Shake loose the old leftover oak leaves
of my tenacious ego-centeredness.

Coax joy to sprout from my difficulties.

Warm the buds of my relationships
so they bloom with healthy love.

Clear out my wintered debris
with the wild breeze of your liberating presence.

Nudge me, woo me, entice me, draw me to you.

I give you my trust and my gratitude as you
grace my slowly thawing spirit.

Light-filled Being, my Joy and my Hope,
let the greening in me begin.

— Joyce Rupp from Out of the Ordinary: Prayers, Poems, and Reflections for Every Season