Shall We Gather at the River?

“I’ve known rivers:
I’ve known rivers ancient as the world and older than the
 flow of human blood in human veins.
My soul has grown deep like the rivers.” Langston Hughes

A river watering the garden flowed from Eden.
Shall we gather by the river?
Here is Holy Mystery.
Here our ancients knew beginning.
Here our ancestors tended wholeness.
Here we pray our prayer of gratitude. (silence)

We’ve known rivers,
“Ancient, dusky rivers.”

And Jacob slept beside a river.
And the angels treaded there.
Shall we gather at the river?
Here our ancients learned their name.
Here we know our heart’s true name.  (silence)

“I’ve known rivers:
I’ve known rivers ancient as the world and older than the
flow of human blood in human veins.
My soul has grown deep like the rivers.” – Langston Hughes

And Moses stepped into a river.
And our ancients crossed in safety.
Here brave Miriam led the dancing.
Shall we gather at the river?
Here our freedom, here our journey
Here our spirit dance of blessing. (silence)

And in a river Jesus waded
and a dove came close to him.
Shall we gather at the river?
Here, in drops of water on our forehead
We remember
We are Loved. (silence)

We’ve known rivers,
“Ancient, dusky rivers.”

Shall we gather by the river
with the saints who’ve gone before.
Call them now to mind and heart
Those who loved you and amazed you.
Those who showed you ways to faith. (silence)

“I’ve known rivers:
I’ve known rivers ancient as the world and older than the
flow of human blood in human veins.
My soul has grown deep like the rivers.” – Langston Hughes

Shall We Gather at the River?
                                            – Janice MacLean

Langston Hughes, A Negro Speaks of Rivers

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1 Comment

  1. Janice, your words touch my heart and speak deeply to my soul. Those you minister to through your Prayer Bench Ministry are so blessed to allow themselves(including me) to receive this blessing. Thank-you for offering this refreshing gift!

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