May 24, 2020

It's Up to You

The title of this book means Prayers for the Worship Service, and it's one of the books you can see behind me when I do my Sunday morning videos. I like to adapt its prayers for English language worship, and I used it on May 24 for a benediction, which I thought worked nicely with both the Ascension and Memorial Day themes. Here's my translation, which actually took fewer liberties with the wording than usual:

It’s up to you the footprints you leave behind.
It’s up to you
whether those close to you cringe in fear
or breathe deeply.
It’s up to you
whether your many gifts are used for yourself alone
or for the community.
It’s up to you
whether you help people discover their true worth,
or doubt themselves.
It’s up to you.

You are a possibility of God.
Do not belittle yourself—that is cowardice.
And don’t belittle others—that is evil.
You don’t have to take the last step—
Christ Jesus has taken it for you.
But you should go your own way.
Do not stay put in fear,
nor wear yourself out too soon.
 Do not be arrogant or indifferent.
It doesn’t matter
whether you’re better or worse,
stronger or weaker,
bigger or smaller.
In the end, what counts
is that you have been true to God and to yourself,
whether or not you’ve been fully human,
a child of the Most High,
a gift to the world.
You are a possibility of God.
Go in peace…
—Gerhard Engelsberger (adapted & translated by Sam Greening)

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