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May It Be Your Will
Weekly Brief for Ash Wednesday and Sunday, March 6th
As each of us marks the beginning of Lent in our own way this year, I wanted to offer you this prayer by Rabbi Nachman of Breslov. Rabbi Nachman was a Hasidic teacher who lived and taught in the 18th century in what is now Ukraine. He is known for connecting mysticism and contemplative practices to his deep commitment to Jewish tradition. He writes:
May it be Your will,
Holy One, our God, our ancestors’ God,
that you erase war and bloodshed from the world
and in its place draw down
a great and glorious peace
so that nation shall not lift up sword against nation
neither shall they learn war any more.
Rather, may all the inhabitants of the earth
recognize and deeply know
this great truth:
that we have not come into this world
for strife and division
nor for hatred and rage,
nor provocation and bloodshed.
We have come here only
to encounter You,
eternally blessed One.
we ask your compassion upon us;
raise up, by us, what is written:
I shall place peace upon the earth
and you shall lie down safe and undisturbed
and I shall banish evil beasts from the earth
and the sword shall not pass through your land.
but let justice come in waves like water
and righteousness flow like a river,
for the earth shall be full
of the knowledge of the Holy One
as the waters cover the sea.
So may it be.
And we say:
On Ash Wednesday, we are invited to remember that we are dust and that to dust we will return. This does not mean that we are worthless or that our lives are worthless. Instead, it is an reminder that our lives are short and that we too easily lose ourselves into the minutia of our day to day lives. Too often, instead of opening ourselves up to once again encounter the blessed One and to participate in the great movement of justice and compassion, we get caught up in petty arguments and fleeting concerns.
Today, may we remember that we are dust. Our lives are short, but they are not meaningless. We are here to deeply encounter the blessed One in our neighbors and in the world around us, to experience the blessed One in each meal, in each conversation, and in our work. We are here to join the blessed One in banishing evil and letting justice flow all around us.
May each of you observe a holy Lent and may it be a time of renewed hope. So may it be…
Join Us For Worship
Join us in person or online this Sunday morning as Pastor Rob reflects on the beginning of Lent. Music will be led by CCW Music Director Winifred Brown and Sam Krausz. This week’s worship leader is Carol Brigham.
For those joining us in person on Sunday morning, we continue to request that everyone keeps their mask on during worship to ensure that everyone who attends feels safe. If you are attending online, please feel free to turn your camera on during the service and to unmute as we share joys and concerns or share our reflections.
After worship, everyone is welcome to join us in the CCW Lounge for coffee hour. This week’s coffee hour is hosted by Marie Durkin.
To participate in the worship online via Zoom, please click on the button below.