National Indigenous Day of Prayer
June 21, 2020
To whom then will you compare me, or who is my equal? says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high and see: Who created these? He who brings out their host and numbers them, calling them all by name; because he is great in strength, mighty in power, not one is missing. Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the Lord, and my right is disregarded by my God””? Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and strengthens the powerless. Even youths will faint and be weary, and the young will fall exhausted; but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.
Something to Do
…those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength
Seeking justice and reconciliation is hard work. The prophet Isaiah reminds us that the source of our strength is God who renews us day by day. One of the ways God renews us is by giving us opportunities for joy in the midst of the hard work. Be renewed by the beauty and richness of the cultures of the Indigenous Peoples of this land.
The Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival is happening online all month. You can take culinary or crafting webinars; watch live-streamed music and dance; listen to lectures; and do family-friendly virtual tours and games.
The Canadian Museum of History has a fascinating virtual exhibit dedicated to exploring Alex Janvier’s masterpiece Morning Star. Get up close to this beautiful painting and learn about the symbolism the artist used and the methods
The NAC Indigenous Theatre is running a (recorded) speaker series on Indigenous arts and storytelling, beginning with Professor Simon Brascoupé, Mohawk, an Algonquin Anishinabeg artist.
God is the Creator of the ends of the earth.
The Doctrine of Discovery was one of the founding sins of colonialism. Christian Europe concluded that Christian Europeans counted and so land really only came into being when they found it. Anyone already living there was not really, properly human and so Christian Europeans were free to do with the land as they wished.
How God must have wept to see any of God’s children so twist the truth.
Territorial acknowledgments are a small act but they are one way to counteract this terrible lie. These lands existed under the care and use of other people – whose descendants still live on these lives.
Learn the history of the land you live on. Learn the history of any other lands you have lived on. This website is working to make this information easier for us to find: Native-Land.ca
Something to Wonder
Wings like an eagle
The promises in this passage are so lovely – and, in the face of very real tiredness, hard to believe. Check in with yourself. What is tiring you out these days? What restores your energy? Where would you like God to help you soar?
Name all of that for yourself and then tell it all to God – and wait for the Lord.
Why do you suppose this reading has been chosen for the National Indigenous Day of Prayer? How does it speak to the work of reconciliation? How does it speak to the realities of diversity? Of inequality?
If you were preaching, what would you say?
Something to Learn
The Strawberry Teaching
This Sunday, the are going to listen to the Most Rev’d Mark MacDonald, our National Indigenous Archbishop, tell us the story of Odeiman and use the strawberry teaching to call us into a renewed life of love.
Gathering at the River: A Gospel Jamboree
And you can get to know Archbishop Mark as he hosts Indigenous Ministries’ first on-line Gospel Jamboree (available as a video or audio recording).
Within the Anglican Church of Canada, Gospel Jamborees have accompanied the Native Convocations/Sacred Circles as well as being used by communities and ministry areas to bring folks together for fellowship, encouragement, worship, community-building, support and fun. The last three General Synods have also featured Gospel Jamborees as ongoing acts of reconciliation and bridge-building.
Something to Pray
Holy God, we do not always understand your word or your ways.
Give us wisdom and imagination and courage as we learn and grow.
The story this week has made me wonder about…
(what questions are still on your heart?)
Receive my questions and help me hear your answers.
The story this week has filled me with…
(how are you feeling?)
Accept my praise, heal my hurt, ease my worry.
The story this week has reminded me of…
(are there situations or people you are thinking of?)
Be with all who are in need of you.
In Jesus’ name, we pray.