By Emily Padgett
A Blessing for Beginning Graduate School
Come knowing that your name is beloved, and let us seek to become co-creators of beloved community, held together not by the singleness of beliefs, but by shared celebrations — daring to listen and encounter new possibilities beyond what we could now imagine. Let us walk beside each other within the disturbing and dis-comforting questions that arise, the struggles struggling with the tensions and paradoxes. Let us join hands and wrestle together.
A Liturgy of Beginning
May we bless, daring to treasure all we encounter by treasuring all: most especially by honoring the dignity of the person on the margins and by gifting dignity and respect to those we might name as enemies.
May we go, daring to stand under the power of love as opposed to hate, beckoning people not towards ourselves but towards Christ, God enfleshed, Love embodied.
May you give us the courage to embody the name the “school of the prophets” and the humility to confess when we miss the mark, and move ever closer to Zacchaeus’ heart and actions of reparation and reconciliation when, not if, we mess up.
May you enfold us in your abundant love as we begin a new season and rhythm.
May we pray, daring to be vulnerable, opening ourselves to your eternal Love and seeing that face in the people: bodies and souls intertwined that we meet.
May we rest, daring to prioritize wellness and wholeness over seeking perfection.
May we pause, measure our pace, and breathe when graduate school and the pressures of busyness and keeping up are overwhelming.
May your presence as Emmanuel, God with us, settle into our being,
body and soul, flowing through our bodies.
May you hold the beauty and the brokenness
that we are daring to breathe out to You who are delighting in our whole being.
May we turn, daring to confess how we have listened to that arrogant voice of pride that tells us to seek independence at all costs, refusing the truth
of our interdependence on people, plants, and You, Our Provider.
May we learn, daring to embrace the wild, dancing with Miriam,
wrestling with Jacob, crying with Hannah, and rejoicing with Anna.
May you sow our imaginations with seeds of hope, magic, and simple delights that draw us into rhythms of restoration in community.
The featured image is a digitally edited photograph by Emily Padgett, used with permission.