Sunday Meditation: Crowned

Psalm 8

First Church, East Haddam, CT.


Holy One,

We are summering with the psalms and wonder where you are? How did we lose you again and forget that an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind?[1]

There are no words to offer against the horror of what happened in Dallas this Thursday night with a sniper shooting 5 white police officers in the street in response to young black men in Minnesota and Louisiana being shot by white police officers.

No words… except, maybe ones written by your own people in the psalms. Words found in the mouth of your own son as he hung on the cross of hate and cried out, “My God, My God why have you forsaken me?” (Psalm 22)

No words… except, maybe ones spoken by Jesus as he sat with the lost saying, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” (Luke 10.27-37)

No words… except, those found in the Good Samaritan parable, “ Who is my neighbor?” We know the answer by heart, O God, “The one who showed mercy.”

No words… to take away the grief and horror except, maybe those of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr who reminded all of us about the beloved community and that “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.[2]

No words… except, those found in poems by Maya Angelou:

“You may shoot me with your words,

You may cut me with your eyes,

You may kill me with your hatefulness,

But still, like air, I’ll rise.” [3]

Holy God, there are no words… to take away the grief and horror. But hear our tears offered in this moment of anguish, with our hearts and bodies praying out loud to you.

We light candles and sit in silence, we gather and sing, we worship today and plan another vigil for tomorrow. Maybe, if we are brave enough, we’ll join a protest next week.

But, O Beloved One,

I confess that I worry about my own backyard with my own four nephews who with their brown and black skins could be mistaken for being the wrong color in a convenience store.

I worry about my neighbor’s children; two of them who are police officers and could end up in harms way just by doing their jobs.

And I worry that my friend’s two son- in- laws who are black (and their mother who worries about them all the time) could be next.

There are no words O God, except the ones that remind us of how “You have crowned us all only a little lower than You” in images so divine that if we remembered, we wouldn’t hate or ignore, abuse or shoot each other ever again.

Help us, O God, to rise,

Help us, O God, to show mercy,

Help us, O God, to love all over again.

You’ve already shown us the way.

And, there are no more words.



The Rev. Laura Fitzpatrick-Nager, Pastor

First Church of Christ, Congregational 

499 Town Street

East Haddam, CT 06423

[1]              Gandhi

[2]             Martin Luther King, Jr, Strength to Love.

[3]             Maya Angelou, And Still I Rise.


A Blessing of the Bicycles


One: O Holy One of All that Moves,

we ask for your blessing on all of your creatures

on wheels and on foot this day,

Many: For those children and youth, siblings and friends, old and young

 One: For those who move on one tire or two

on bicycles, tricycles and unicycles, skateboards and scooters

big wheels and cartwheels, training wheels and wheel chairs

and bicycles built for two.

Many: We ask for your blessing on these bodies and all who walk and ride gently on the earth. Bless us with healthy hearts and minds, limbs and spirits.

 One: We give thanks for wheels and the gift of movement that make us move by our own body power. As we expend our own energy, may we remember to conserve the sacred earth we’ve been gifted with in this our generation.

Many: We ask for blessing upon those whose job it is to make these bikes built for mountain paths or country roads, city lanes or meadow fields.

 One: We remember those places and people in need of clean air, water and soil and honor our role in climate care as we ride on together.

Many: We remember those children around the world who are in need of bikes and safe places to ride them. We ride for them, too, when we climb onto our bikes and do a lap in their honor today. In the name of Our God, Creator of Beauty and Bikes, Heaven and Earth, Amen!

Blessing of the Bicycles by Rev. Laura Fitzpatrick-Nager

First Church, East Haddam, CT

In honor of Earth Week April 17-24th, 2016