The scene: It’s 11 pm on a Saturday night and I’m supposed to be doing the offertory prayer for tomorrow’s service. There are a couple things that I’m feeling and they mostly center around what could be called discomfort but what I’ll call instead growing pains: The rhythm of church remains uncertain to me. Also, I’m pretty daunted by the Bible. I have never purposefully encountered it. I still find multiculturalism a tricky thing, a buzzword I know but in the end Marsh has pushed me more than ever to be vulnerable in respect to it. My first understanding of temple was defined in its relation to the whitewashing around me. In this way I have learned faith: not only self determination, but also cultural survival. To detach myself from this kind of tribalism and offer myself wholeheartedly not to the relative comfort of an absolute but instead to the vast unknown is incredibly scary. So basically: I never thought in a thousand years I would be participating in a church service giving an offertory prayer. 

By this time half an hour has passed and I’m still freaking out and I find myself scrolling through all kinds of Bible websites looking for more information about What Is An Offertory? But now I am curious. I’m not worrying about crossing boundaries between gods or religions or hanging onto my book, my Hindu book. I’m just reading parts of the Bible that are in fact very beautiful. The way one might read a book of poetry and think oh. It’s hard to put words to a feeling so ultimately visceral, but I find comfort in these slivers of text, like my grandfather’s prayer beads or the smell of saffron incense. Bathed in the lamplight as night settles around me, reading words that are holy that can be mine or anybody else’s, all I have to do is breathe and let them flow through me. 

(Here are two that resonated with me the most. I don’t know why exactly, and I will take time to piece that apart later: but for now, I only hope that you can find beauty in them, too.)


Isaiah 55:10-11: “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”


Hebrews 13:14-15: “For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come. Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.”

One Comment

n.yasin posted on June 10, 2023 at 6:09 am

How well do you know the Bible?

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