Editor Edwin Searcy writes: The first thing a student in Walter Brueggemann's class notices are the prayers. Each class, each day begins with evocative prayer, crafted for the moment and offered with daring humility. This is not a rote exercise to be dispensed with lightly. In this disciplined practice, teacher becomes pastor, speaking for a classroom become congregation. In these prayers Brueggemann risks naming the truth about us, about the world, and about the God who is at once listening and speaking.
Your command is garbled
We imagine you coming into the barracks with your insistent demand.
We imagine you addressing
the sun to "move out,"
the sky -- "let there be light,"
the sea -- "stand back."
We imagine you addressing Israel, "be my people,"
and the church "follow me."
We even imagine you addressing us, each of us and all of us with your order of the day.
We imagine ... but the din of other commands,
of old loyalties and unfinished business and tired dreams
cause us not to hear well, not to listen, not to notice, and your command is garbled.
So come again with your mandate, with the clarity of your imperative.
We listen, because we know in deep ways that your yoke is easy and your burden is light.
Come among us, because we are yours, and ours is a listening mood.
Give us ears and then hands and hearts and feet for your good news.
- --Walter Brueggemann, Summer school, July 14, 1998