Monday Morning Collect

Practitioners of Memos

Here we are, practitioners of memos:
We send e-mail and we receive it,
We copy it and forward it and save it and delete it.
We write to move the data,
and organize the program,
and keep people informed -
and know and control and manage.

We write and receive one-dimensional memos,
that are, at best, clear and unambiguous.
And then - in breathtaking ways - you summon us to song.
You, by your very presence, call us to lyrical voice;
You, by your book, give us cadences of praise
that we sing and say, "allelu, allelu."
You, by your hymnal, give us many voices
toward thanks and gratitude and amazement.
You, by your betraying absence,
call us to lament and protest and complaint.
All our songs are toward you
in praise, in thanks and in need.

We sing and figure and image and parallel and metaphor.
We sing thickness according to our coded community.
We sing and draw close to each other, and to you.
We sing. Things become flesh. But then the moment breaks
and we sink back into memo: "How many pages?"
"When is it due?"
"Do you need footnotes?"
We are hopelessly memo kinds of people.
So we pray, by the power of your spirit,
give us some song-infused days,
deliver us from memo-dominated nights.
Give us a different rhyth,
of dismay and promise,
of candor and hope,
of trusting and obeying.

Give us the courage to withstand the world of memo
and to draw near to your craft of life
given in the wind.
We pray back to you the Word made flesh;
We pray, "Come soon."
We pray, "Amen."

Walter Brueggamann, Prayers for a Privileged People, 51