Sunday, February 01, 2015

A Prayer for Super Bowl Sunday by Walter Brueggemann

Leave it to Walter Brueggemann to have both the moxie and the skills to sacralize Super Bowl Sunday, which he does in his 2008 collection Prayers for a Privileged People. "It is no challenge to me," he writes, "to rethink myself along with other privileged believers, even if our privilege tends to work against openheartedness." It's no challenge to him because he recognizes that he is a person of privilege, enjoying benefits accruing to his ethnicity, gender and social class that were woven into the cultural fabric years, decades, even centuries before he was born. That's all well and good, but what could the Super Bowl possibly have to do with social privilege?

Read on and find out. If you have a little moxie, you might even pray it.

* * *

The world of fast money,
and loud talk,
and much hype is upon us.
We praise huge men whose names will linger only briefly.

We will eat and drink,
and gamble and laugh,
and cheer and hiss,
and marvel and then yawn.

We show up, most of us, for such a circus,
and such an indulgence.
Loud clashing bodies,
violence within rules,
and money and merchandise and music.

And you - today like every day -
you govern and watch and summon;
you glad when there is joy in the earth,
But you notice our liturgies of disregard and
our litanies of selves made too big,
our fascination with machismo power,
and lust for bodies and for big bucks.

TWEET THIS: Our life consists not in things we consume but in neighbors we embrace. Walter Brueggemann, Prayers for a Privileged People

And around you gather today, as every day,
elsewhere uninvited, but noticed by you,
those disabled and gone feeble,
those alone and failed,
those uninvited and shamed.
And you whose gift is more than "super,"
overflowing, abundant, adequate, all sufficient.

The day of preoccupation with creature comforts writ large.
We pause to be mindful of our creatureliness,
our commonality with all that is small and vulnerable exposed,
your creatures called to obedience and praise.

Give us some distance from the noise,
some reserve about the loud success of the day,
that we may remember that our life consists
not in things we consume
but in neighbors we embrace.

Be our good neighbor that we may practice
your neighborly generosity all through our needy neighborhood.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

moxie - where has this word been all this time.

Walter Brueggemann - a person of privilege - woven into the cultural fabric - with brute force & river of blood - only.

II. CHRONICLES, 20.
2. Then there came some that told Je-hosh'a-phat, saying, There cometh a great multitude against thee from beyond the sea...
3. And Je-hosh'a-phat feared and set himself to seek the Lord...
4. And Judah gathered themselves together, to ask help of the Lord...
6. And said, O LORD GOD of our fathers, art not thou God in heaven...and in thine hands is there not the power and might so that none is able to withstand thee.
7. Art not thou our God, who didst drive our the inhabitants or this land...and gave it to the seed of Abra-ham thy friend forever.
9. If, when evil cometh upon us, as the sword, judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we stand...in thy presence, ...and cry unto thee in our affliction, then thou wilt hear and help.

And it came to pass that all manner of instruments were bestowed upon them.
And even the atomic bomb was ushered unto the seed.
In the name of the Father in heaven we doth slaughter thee heathen, for thou wouldst steal that which we have stolen from thee first.
With the moxie, the liturgies of disregard & our litanies of selves made too big, our fasination with machismo power, & lust for the bodies & for the big bucks, & only that we are too lerthagic to embrace the effort & so are destined to spectate - hence the Super Bowl.