Prayer to the Mother of Us All

We all have one.
She goes by different names:
mom, mama, mummy,
my mother, my birth mother,
the woman who bore me.
We may know her intimately,
or she may be just a name.
But it was she who carried us,
nurtured us with her body,
gave birth to us
and launched us into this wide world….

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Holding the Baby

The night God took a deep breath
for all that must be saved,
even the stars outshone themselves
and hillsides gloried with angelic music,
the good, good, good news bouncing down
like boulders, shaking the foundations royally,
announcing the advent of a ruler born
for all who must be saved.
It was the bloody same way
we all arrive on the scene
through the mother of all labour and sweat,
the pain stretching out like tidal waves
for all that must be made flesh.
Love is now newborn, if not exactly

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All I Want for Christmas: A Prayer List as I Go to the Mall

his Christmas I would like…
the clear conviction
that beauty is for beholding
and that I don’t have to own
everything that gives me pleasure.
I want to have joy in gift-giving,
seeking to delight those I love.
I would like protection from over purchasing:
and reminders that more gifts
don’t always bring more delight.
I would like contentment this year,
and freedom from envy as I look at things
that I cannot afford to buy.
I would like mindfulness for Christmas,

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Message from the Manger

We love you in the manger, Jesus.
Your little hands and feet,
your soft breathing,
your eyes closed in sleep.
You may be a revolutionary,
but we like our revolutionaries in diapers.
Forgive us, Lord,
for preferring a Saviour that doesn’t talk;
a Saviour that has no words of judgement
for our callousness to the suffering of others,
whose arms aren’t tossing over tables,
whose feet aren’t leading us to Jerusalem.,,,

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Was that Joy?

Joy may be like a fountain,
but it has no on/off switch.
We can’t manufacture joy
or produce it on demand.
Running after joy is
like running after the wind;
you can’t catch it.
Joy is wild and treasured,
like a rare shy bird
that suddenly appears.
It can be fleeting,
or its presence can rest with you…

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Singing with Angels: a Christmas Eve Poem

Hear the angel’s song tonight:
glimmering harmonies,
glorias gliding in the air like snowflakes,
glorias glancing off gleaming eyes,
glorias glowing in gladsome, gladful hearts.
That glorious melody, full of earth peace,
so rich tonight, so full-fleshed,
it pierces to the deep heart’s core
and opens there, like a rose, blooming.

Loaded with melody, melodious we go
into our surroundsound society
that marches to a different drum.
Life’s discord, sin’s unholy racket,
rises and lifts with jackhammer insistence,…

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My life is a guesthouse
and each day brings its visitors.
Years of regular customers,
rational and sensible,
ordered and predictable—
they cause no trouble.
Steady Contentment, calm Happiness,
busy Industry, pleasant Enjoyment.
Every once in a while Temper checks in,
turning the whole house upside down for a while,
but he doesn’t stay long…..

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The Church United

For centuries and millennia
the church divided.
In fragments,
polarized, incensed
and with bees in their bonnets,
Christian denounced Christian,
sending one another to hell,
or to their graves,
quoting scripture or creed
as the occasion demanded.
Or not….

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Golden: An Anniversary Poem

The gold band stays the same,
a bit warped maybe,
the edges worn down,
some scratches.
Still hugging my ring finger
since the day
you put it there
round about an age ago.
Like your love,
still surrounding me
these many years,
still holding me
still cherishing me
still honouring me.

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About Carol Penner

I am a Mennonite pastor currently teaching theology at Conrad Grebel University College in Waterloo, Ontario. I’ve served congregations in Ontario and most recently, Alberta.

I love to write and to lead worship! If you are finding my writing helpful, I would love to hear from you! Feel free to use or adapt the material here, it is all written by me. If printing material, please credit “Copyright Carol Penner www.leadinginworship.com” (and say whether you modified it). If publishing, please contact me for permission. Contact me at carol@leadinginworship.com

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