Tag Archives: city

an end to preludes


There is a rumble of insistence for
an end to preludes without their symphonies.

Beyond announcements and proclamations,
beyond ceremonies and unveilings,
crowds of regular people gather
who are still working and sweating
to raise their families
to help their neighbors
to reimagine their surroundings
to dream their futures
and to build into their communities
into something a little more whole.

Beyond the prelude
the people are still waiting
for the movement to begin.

Beyond the prelude
we are waiting and clamoring,
we have become restless waiting and clamoring,
for the movement to begin.

There is no longer an acceptance of only preludes;
we’ve learned the movement is supposed to follow.

We don’t expect it to be played for us;
we’ve been learning to play for quite some time now.
We expect to add our own music to the work.
We don’t expect it to ring without error;
we’ve been learning from our errors for quite some time now.
We expect to mess up, tell the truth about it, and continue to play.
We don’t expect to hear it immediately;
we’ve been learning how long it takes for good music to be born.
We expect to see it both in small pieces and suddenly in finished products.

But let us be clear;
we will no longer accept the preludes without their symphonies.
If there is intent to impose again
an acceptance of the status quo
of all prelude and no movement
of all proclamation and no production
of all appeasing and no activity
of all explanation and no substance,
hear this:
We do not accept your offer.

We’ve waited.
We’ve traveled.
We’ve worked.
We’ve trained.
We’ve sweat.

You will not scare us into silence.
You will not threaten us into acceptance.
You will not bully us into appeasement.

We know that the prelude is only the prelude;
there’s music to be heard.
And we know that while terrifying,
it is the music of the kingdom.
And we will play it together.
And we will hear it together.

And whether or not you join us,
we will move beyond the preludes.
There’s music to be heard.

Chicago, IL

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now we are homeward

Through this day we have named your name in gladness, we have pondered the world you have called “good,” we have relished your gift and your task, and we have marveled in amazement, yet one more time, at the wonder of this Easter Jesus, who has died and is alive among us.

Now we are homeward; And when we arrive there, it will be as it was this morning, with anxiety and demand and conflict and inconvenience. Except that all things will be–yet again–made new. Make new by your spirit; make new the church where we live; make new the public reality of justice among us; make new the practice of compassion in our neighborhood; make new the surge of peace in our violent world; make new the policies of our government and the workings of the church.

Make new, and we will be in Easter joy unafraid and unweary, your glad people, carrying among us the marks of the death and the new life of Jesus in whose name we pray.

+ W. Brueggeman, “Habitat of Newness and Goodness”
from Prayers for a Privileged People 

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