A Prayer for March

March is either the best or the worst month of the year. It's the best because the snow starts melting and leaves start budding and in the mornings you start to hear birds chirping and singing, instead of the hollow call of the whistling winter wind.

March is either the best or the worst month of the year. The sun shines more, but we have to set our clocks forward maybe before we're ready.

March is my birthday, which happens to fall in the busiest season of the church year, and inevitably on a Wednesday, when I'm usually leading church services.

This March, I'm leading a new webinar for Luther Seminary on my research for Red State Christians and Finding Hope in a Divided Country. I read through some of the entries of students who signed up for the course, and their responses challenged and struck me with their honesty and earnest desire to speak truth, justice, and Jesus into a world that has become untrusting, fearful, and uncertain.

I'm excited for the course, but I'm also nervous, because March seems to have too many things. I remember the days in my early 20s, when March just meant basketball and St. Patrick's Day in Kansas City.

This March, I'll have to take a break from work to remember the leprechaun, whose magical visit sprinkles each March with a pot of gold for my two boys, who grow less and less little every single day.

In the midst of the rushing and the mud and the alternately frozen and unfrozen puddles of March, it seems essential to pray, especially in moments and in months like these, when the world moves fast and change is at hand, and comfort seems elusive.

So here is my prayer for you - and for me - this March.

Lord Jesus,
Grant me the presence to listen to the encouraging and energetic birds who chirp as we race to the bus stop in the morning. Grant me the wisdom to see the promise of a blue sky and not wish these brisk moments away but instead savor them, drinking in the March air tinged with the last gasp of winter and the first nascent breaths of spring.

Grant me the patience to listen to my loved ones. Grant me the grace to laugh. Give me the confidence to put away my phone and my computer and bathe, Jesus, in your love.

This March, Lord Jesus, may I see Wednesdays not as overwhelming work but also as your invitation to draw deeper to the message of the Gospel, enfleshed by webinar students and church members and Confirmation kids. 

In moments of pressure, or setbacks, or uncertainty, Lord Jesus, may I turn to you in silence and still breath, knowing that I am never alone, never hopeless, never abandoned, but always forgiven, renewed, and resurrected.

(Ending with an Irish blessing):
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.


March, 2017, Brea, Calif.


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