Monday, April 11, 2011

"Unloose Him"

By Connie Thomas

Tonight's Community of Travelers service focused on the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi. We sang the Sarah Mclachlan version:

If you're unfamiliar (like I most certainly was), here are the words:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.

Where there is injury, pardon.

Where there is doubt, faith.

Where there is despair, hope.

Where there is darkness, light.

Where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much
seek to be consoled, as to console;

to be understood, as to understand;

to be loved, as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive.

It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,

and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.


What a simple, yet perfect and beautiful prayer. We were each given the opportunity to write this prayer, or the most meaningful parts of this prayer for us, on a strip of cloth. It may look short, but let me tell you- when you're trying to write this with a pen on cloth, it takes way longer than you think it will. I went into the activity thinking that every word was precious, so of course I would write every word. But, by the end, I had written a shorthand version of the prayer that an outsider may think is just a stream of unrelated words after each other.

The coolest part was we then tied the cloth to a part of ourselves, and had others in the community untie them. The idea is that, in tonight's gospel, Jesus says "unloose him" when he asks his followers to untie a man Jesus had just risen from the dead. Yeah, you heard that right- risen from the dead. It was a crazy story. Anyways, my favorite part was that, apparently, the verb "unloose" in Greek is the same for having your sins forgiven. So, we were given the opportunity to be "unloosed" by our fellow church family members. Or, we could choose to untie ourselves. I preferred the symbolism of asking somebody else for help. Now that the activity is over, I kind of wish I had written the prayer in a prettier way so I could hang it up in my apartment...

It's also worth mentioning that Beamer was back with us again tonight. We missed you, Beamer!

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