O sweet and loving God,
when I stay asleep too long,
oblivious to your many blessings,
then, please, wake me up,
and sing to me your joyful song.
It is a song without music or notes.
It is a song of love beyond words,
of faith beyond the power
of human telling.
I can hear it in my soul
when you awaken me
to your presence.
These are the words of a prayer of Mechthild of Magdeburg (1207-1282?). As an adolescent, Mechthild received what she called a divine ‘greeting’ in the small feudal village of her birth, and she saw ‘all things in God and God in all things’. In her twenties she left her family and moved into the nearest town ‘to dwell in the love of God’. In Magdeburg, Mechthild joined the Beguines, a new woman’s movement, devotional and spiritual but not a formal ‘order’ of the Church, and in which she remained for over 40 years. The intimacy with which she spoke about God, with which she spoke with God, remains both startling and beautiful to this day. What I find most wonderful is how Mechthild speaks about the mutuality of a flowing love, about not only us loving God but God loving us. In this prayer, she is asking her Lover to rouse her from sleep and sing again the eternal song of love that we know in Jesus Christ.
It will be the same song of divine love that we will hear as the font is filled with water and we celebrate the sacrament of baptism, God’s gracious love that will not let us go.
If you are in the area, join us in the sanctuary. If you are at a distance, follow along with the prayers and readings as found in the Order of Service below.