Humility and Peace

January 31, 2021

Lord, we know you are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love. (Nehemiah 9:17).

Stick with us, and guide us Lord, despite our quarrelsome ways.

Give us the humility to seek out different points of view, to find the wisdom in others. (Proverbs 15:22)

Turn us from those who feed hate and fear and resentment, and towards those who are willing to come together, reason together, and find a path forward together.

Help us to be both merciful and just, ensuring the accountability necessary to protect our future.

Put us on the path of a peace founded on empathy, equality and good governance, for we know this brings both joy and prosperity.

Help us to repent, to learn from our sins, and to be better than we are.

Amen

Turning Point

January 24, 2021

Thank you Lord for our democracy holding and a peaceful transfer of power.

Help us to recommit to democratic values,* repair our foundations, and rebuild.

Turn us from the sins of anger, hate, factionalism, and resentment. (Galatians 5:20)

Lead us in your paths of justice, kindness, and mercy. (2 Chronicles 7:14; Ps. 25:4-5; Galatians 22-23)

May we, in the words of our Vice President,** emerge from our trials with new wisdom, imagining new possibilities. Help us to open our hearts to one another.

May we, with your help, be so zealous and successful at pursuing your justice and peace that we, like Hezekiah and his people, find ourselves rejoicing at the speed of our progress. (2 Chronicles 29:36).

Amen

*As identified in the National Council For The Social Studies C3 Framework: honesty, mutual respect, cooperation, attention to multiple perspectives, equality, liberty, and freedom.

**Paraphrased from Vice President Kamala Harris’ remarks at the Covid-19 Memorial Service, January 19, 2021.

In Need of Grace

January 17, 2021

We are a broken and grieving people O Lord.

Broken relationships, broken promises, broken bodies, broken lives.

We are broken Lord, although not beyond repair.

Please let your grace shine through and in our broken places.

Help us to repent O Lord, and to walk in your ways.

Give us wisdom, give us courage, give us humility, give us integrity, give us compassion, give us mercy, give us love.

Help us to discern fact from folly, and turn us from false gods.

Heal us O Lord, and give us hope.

Amen

A Different Harvest

January 10, 2021

You reap what you sow. (Gal. 6:7-10)

Forgive us Lord, for planting and nurturing the seeds of hate, anger and resentment.

Forgive us for our willingness to dismiss and even mock our fellow citizens.

Forgive us for pursuing the folly and comfort of easy answers.

Forgive us for following false prophets.

Help us heal the wounds and scars on our land and among our people.

Help us to plant anew, and to pull the weeds that infect our current discourse.

Guide us to a future harvest of justice and wisdom, of love and compassion.

Amen.

Living Into The Light

January 3, 2021

As we start a new year, we share the following prayer from the encyclical All Brothers” published by Pope Francis on October 3, 2020. The encyclical provides guidance for our civic lives. The prayer is titled “An Ecumenical Christian Prayer” and appears following paragraph 287. Let us commit ourselves to caring for one another and strengthening our communities.

O God, Trinity of love,
from the profound communion of your divine life,
pour out upon us a torrent of fraternal love.
Grant us the love reflected in the actions of Jesus,
in his family of Nazareth,
and in the early Christian community.

Grant that we Christians may live the Gospel,
discovering Christ in each human being,
recognizing him crucified
in the sufferings of the abandoned
and forgotten of our world,
and risen in each brother or sister
who makes a new start.

Come, Holy Spirit, show us your beauty,
reflected in all the peoples of the earth,
so that we may discover anew
that all are important and all are necessary,
different faces of the one humanity
that God so loves. Amen.

Following The Light

December 27, 2020

Light of the world, shine in our hearts, that we might see and act with compassion.

Shine in our minds that we might love justice, and act wisely.

Dispel our fears, our anger, our resentments, our sorrows and despair.

Shine on our hands that we might reach out in love.

Shine on our feet that we might find the path of peace.

Guide us O Lord through the new year.

Amen

Guiding Light

December 20, 2020

The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood. John 1:5

Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged. 2 Chronicles 20:16

Lord God of light, in your word we find hope,

In your presence we find joy,

In your guidance we find peace,

In your love we find rest.

Even in the darkest times, your light is there, if we are willing to look.

Help us to see it, embrace it, and share it. (John 1:9)

Amen

Wilderness

December 13, 2020

We are wandering in the wilderness Lord, and even though it is of our own making, we are lost and confused and afraid.

Help us to hear and to follow the voices of your prophets calling out, inviting us into a better way. (Is. 40:3).

Lead us through the change, the adversity, our fears and anxieties.

Let us, like Abraham, follow your love, even though we do not fully know where we are going. (Heb. 11:8)

Sustain our hope in what we cannot yet see (Heb. 11:1), and guide us towards your peace.

Amen

“Heroes of The Future”

December 6, 2020

You call us forward Lord,

  • to repent,
  • to forgive,
  • to rebuild.

Guide us by the light of your love

  • to a new politics,
  • to a new economy,
  • to a new way of being.

From our fears and sins release us, that we might have

  • the vision,
  • the energy,
  • the compassion,
  • the will,

to heal, to hope, to seek, and to be the “heroes of the future.”*

Amen

*From the papal encyclical “Fratelli Tutti” by Pope Francis, October 3, 2020, paragraph 202.

202. Lack of dialogue means that in these individual sectors people are concerned not for the common good, but for the benefits of power or, at best, for ways to impose their own ideas. Round tables thus become mere negotiating sessions, in which individuals attempt to seize every possible advantage, rather than cooperating in the pursuit of the common good. The heroes of the future will be those who can break with this unhealthy mindset and determine respectfully to promote truthfulness, aside from personal interest. God willing, such heroes are quietly emerging, even now, in the midst of our society.

Giving Thanks

November 29, 2020

Note: Italicized text below is from the hymn “For The Fruit of All Creation”, by Fred Pratt Green (1901).

“. . . for the plowing, sowing, reaping, silent growth while we are sleeping, future needs in earth’s safekeeping, thanks be to God.”

We give thanks in this season for hope and healing, for friends and family, for cooking and cleaning and eating, for tears and laughter.

We give thanks for the beauty that surrounds us in plants and people and earth and sky and the many small crafts and things that furnish our homes, reminding us of those who have gone before.

We give thanks for the often overlooked evidence of your grace throughout our lives in ways large and small and in between. We thank you for your patient presence O Lord.

“. . . for the wonders that astound us, for the truths that sill confound us, most of all that love has found us, thanks be to God.”

Amen