THIS PRAYER IS NOT the most faithful of prayers, but for most of the last what? 20 years? This prayer has offered one prayer, over and over: send revival to San Francisco. Let there be revival from the ferry tower to the Sutro Tower to the Sutro Baths and the Zoo. Let your Spirit pour down and not just on any “us” here, but on everyone here. Let fire pour down from the heavens and light up the altars, burn up the hearts, flow from tongues, flood the streets, liquidate the fear, tear open the subways of sin and obsession, of darkness and death.
Let love light up the night of our lives. Not fake, nice, love-is-love love but real, threatening, painful, destroying-and-rebuilding love that makes us over into your image, that cannot be silenced, that will not turn back, that welcomes everyone and leaves no one untouched or unchanged. Let love revive us, turning and bowing to each other in the eternal kenosis of your divine superfluity. Let love be heard and seen, not felt, but touched. Let love be here now, because you are love, agape, eros, storge, philia, all of it more fire that we can handle. Revive us.
Let us find you in the places we never wanted to look: let us find you in the places we ignored, the people we turned away from, the folks we hate and love to hate. Let us find you in every “Them” there is. Let us find you so that you can revive us.
Let us serve you in our neighbors that reject us, in our foes that trample us, in our enemies that topple our statues and smear blood on our streets. Let us find serve you in unmitigated joy. Singing as we die, laughing as we are cut down for truth. For in the blood of martyrs you will revive us finally.
Heal us. Make us over into little yous of such piercing brightness that people will not be able to look at us without catching fire themselves. Heal our faults, our divisions, our divisiveness, our pride. Heal our tone-deaf singing that makes even our good times sound fake and strained, heal our passionless services that make even global warming cease. Heal our chilled love that cannot breathe. Revive us.
From Bay Stree to Bay Point. From the Marina to South City. From St Peter and St Paul’s, to St Paul of the Shipwreck, to St Thomas More, to St Gabriel’s. Pour your Spirit, send your fire, rush your wind, flow your living water. Change, make new, raise up, knock down, push us out to the margins, revive us!
Restore us. Revive us.
Move us to you. Revive us.
Look, if anything good can come from Nazareth, then you can do something here, too. If there are ten righteous people here, you can save this city with so much power that Satan minions will tremble all over the world. If we can but humble ourselves and call on your name.
And we shall dance.