Note: This week’s New Every Morning reflections are structured differently to follow the format of our featured title, Rally: Communal Prayers for Lovers of Jesus and Justice, which addresses issues of social justice through reflection and over 50 call-and-response prayers known as litanies.
No one believes me when I say I like my body. To deeply enjoy embodied experiences is a radical act—one modeled by a God who chose incarnation. That we have a God who lived inside a woman’s body, washed the feet of his disciples, sat down to meals with strangers, and asked that the sick and suffering be brought to him only affirms bodies as a source of divine inspiration and wisdom. Yet so often our bodies are shamed and blamed, dismissed and ignored. While this litany isn’t in response to an acute crisis—there may not be a Sunday morning when the dire news of the week demands these words—we cannot overlook the larger need for lament of disembodiment.
—Stephanie Vos with Britney Winn Lee, Rally: Communal Prayers for Lovers of Jesus and Justice (Fresh Air Books, 2020)
What kindness can you offer to your body today? Join the conversation.
Don’t you know that you are God’s temple and God’s Spirit lives in you?
—1 Corinthians 3:16 (CEB)
ONE: When we abandon our bodies to be absorbed in our screens,
ALL: We return by our breath. (inhale, exhale)
ONE: When our bodies are overwhelmed with fear and anxiety,
ALL: We take care with our breath. (inhale, exhale)
ONE: When our bodies fail and disappoint,
ALL: We stay close to our breath. (inhale, exhale)
ONE: When our bodies cause harm and suffering to others,
ALL: We come back to our center with our soft breath. (inhale, exhale)
ONE: When our bodies are harmed and violated,
ALL: We take refuge in the calm of the breath. (inhale, exhale)
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.
The final litany from Rally was written by Britney Winn Lee in the beginning days of the global pandemic. This prayer reminds us that hope endures; goodness prevails; people surprise us; and love cannot, has not, will not fail. Watch and listen.
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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