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Lectionary: Isaiah 65:17-25; Isaiah 12; Thessalonia 3:6-13; Luke 21:5-19
I have stood up here right after the Orlando Nightclub shooting, and after the protests in Charlotte, with a poem. This poem. It is my prayer after the continued violence, and so I will read it again for you all today.. Joanna Hipp
“The Peace of Wild Things”
By: Wendell Berry
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
Uniting God of all nations,
We come this week praying. Our lives and communities have been divided. Our United States has become disunited. We live in tension and in fear. As we stand, cheer, lament, and hope, O God, we come because we need you. We need to remember who you have called us to be.
You, O God, are the God of love and hope. Infuse in each of us not dreams, but goals. Goals of an action of love, acceptance of the Other. Our climate has created polarization—and it is you who knit us together. May we listen for the secret chord. The fourth and the fifth.
May we hear the minor fall and the major lift. For all that we can hope for need not be a dream, but a goal we all reach for. Help guide us from our stagnate positions to mend our hearts, wipe away our tears, and remind us of our human connection.
Unite us with the body of Christ. Remind us that you are the God of justice. May we become the signs of grace in our broken world.
Bind us together with the waters of baptism, to show our common humanity, but also to know that water is sacred. That water is life. O God. We pray for communities who do not have water, who do not have access to clean drinking water, who live in areas where water is, and will be, polluted.
We have been here before; we have seen this room and walked this floor. Remind us of our love for all, for hope over hate. For community in the midst of despair. As we honor our veterans who have served, and continue to serve, for veterans of military service, and those who also serve you, O God of us all.
May we stand in the breaches, O God. That we go where you call, and go where we are needed. To call out hate, to aid in healing pain, and to be exemplars of what Jesus taught. May we not live alone.
Guide us to remember the communities that are most vulnerable: the poor, the outcast, advocate for those who are left to the margins. For there are no voiceless, O God, only those whose voices are drowned out, or not heard. May we hear them, O God of the lowly.
May our love not be a cold and broken hallelujah. But a love that takes away barriers and welcomes us to one another. We pray for our elected officials that they govern for the good of the people they are serving. You give us each a voice, O God of creation. You breathe life into us all. You command us to love you command us to stand up for the people we overlook. May we hear those whom we often silence. May we hear your voice calling to us…
Send us your holy spirit. Remind us that we are your people O God. You are the source of all wisdom and understanding. Help us use the faith you give us for service. May our hands and feet move, O God. May we be the answer to the cry, “How long, O Lord.” May our love be mended from a cold and broken hallelujah, to a love of a victory march.
It is with our feet and hands we come ready for you, O God. We hold ourselves accountable to you. Help us find our team, and may others know we are Christians by our love. Aid us in standing in the breach, so that we do not grow weary in doing what is right. We do not give up hope. How rare it and beautiful it truly is that we exist. Hallelujah, we say, as we join together uniting as one people with the prayer Christ taught us to pray by saying..
Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever. Amen.