This week, as a community of faith, we move into Holy Week together. We journey with one another through the ups and downs of the week and meet at the foot of the cross on Good Friday, as together we remember the suffering and passion of Jesus.

This journey reminds me that no one can avoid the grief and loss that happens in all of our lives at some point. As people of faith committed to healing and wholeness, sometimes we can just show up and be present, while at other times we may offer words of comfort or a listening ear.

The prophet Isaiah reminds us that it is God who helps us to know what to say in hard times, and when to simply be present and say nothing at all:

The Lord God has given me the tongue of a teacher, that I may know how to sustain the weary with a word. Morning by morning he wakens me—wakens my ear to listen as those who are taught. (Isaiah 50:4)

Below is a prayer by Jan Richardson for you to reflect on, so that you might be Christ’s listening presence for someone this week. I’d also invite you to join me at the foot of the cross this week at the Good Friday prayer vigil, prayer walk, and Tenebrae service. Click here for information about times and location.

–Nancy Pauls, Pastor of Prayer

Blessing to Open the Ear
That as we wake
we will listen.
That as we rise
we will listen.
That before our first words
of the day
we will listen.
That when we meet
we will listen.

That at noontime
we will listen.
That at dusk
we will listen.
That at the gathering of night
we will listen.
That entering sleep
we will listen still.