Tuesday, July 23, 2013
from spark to worship: praying the Psalms with roses on world map
Yesterday I blogged, grateful for the sparks of inspiration from a Sunday browse through Ikea. I understand creativity as a we
Today I found myself on chapel, which involves around 20 minutes of prayer. It is in the semester break here at College, so it tends to be staff, a smaller group. So here is how the spark became worship.
To give some Scriptural spine, I checked the lectionary readings and selected the Psalm (Psalm 85) for the week, which I printed so folk could read.
I was thinking about how people might want to name their prayers. I’d noticed a few days ago a stray rose still in the garden, so grabbed that on the way to work. To keep it fresh, I took it in a plastic container. Opening the lid during the morning, I was struck by the scent and realised that might be a helpful sense to engage.
With my 20 minutes I welcomed people and invited us to stand around the world map/table. We read the Psalm, verse by verse around the group, which gave voice to our prayer. I handed the rose around the group and as I hoped, people caught the scent and with a word of surprise, discovered it’s joy together.
I noted that at the heart of Christian faith is the Easter story, in which brokenness and vulnerability are so essential. I invited us to pray by handing the rose, again, around the group. We would each break of a petal and place it on the world map, naming what were praying for. We would keep doing this until the rose ran out of petals.
This happened, naturally, beautifully, for around 15 minutes. We concluded by reading again the Psalm, again around the group. And a final picture, to “capture” our prayer.
A spark – a world map. Which became worship – prayers for the world and each other. Which involved the hearing of Scripture, the smell of the rose, the touch of a petal, the visual engagement with the world and each other. And this deep sense of being in the presence of God, tender with each other and God’s world.
Creationary: a space to be creative with the lectionary (in this case, praying the Psalms). For more resources go here.