Rev Douglas Taylor
From Whom all things come and to whom all things return.
Hear this prayer, for our faith community, for our nation and our world, for me and the ones I love, for all those who are loved. Hear us in this time of change and possibility and uncertainty.
We gather this morning across our phone lines and computer screens. We gather as a community scattered across the region, though connected across the weeks and months and in and out of this past year in the best ways we could keep connected during this pandemic. We gather digitally, yearning for the community of grace and support we have found in years past and need so keenly in these days.
This pandemic has put great limitations upon us, O Spirit. This pandemic has asked sacrifices of us, losses and hardship, isolation and care. We have borne the burden on behalf of ourselves and on behalf of others, of the vulnerable, of strangers in need.
We have learned, O Spirit, just how very deeply the connection is among us while we have been isolated and disconnected. With care, we have worn our masks, stayed away from crowds, stopped visiting friends and family. With care we have refrained from risks knowing that the risk I choose to take may impact my neighbor, my spouse, my friend, my children, in ways I cannot control. We have borne the burden, O Spirit.
And now, the science tells us the trouble is beginning to ease. We begin to breathe again; we begin to hope. We begin to make plans.
But Spirit we know this is a newly dangerous time. This sickness is not done, the burden is not lifted. It has eased, but the danger is still hidden and waiting. We know there are steps we can still take to both come back together and protect the vulnerable among us. O Spirit, help us to remember both the grace of coming back together and the continuing need to care for and protect the vulnerable among us.
As we step into this new time of in between, when our worlds begin to open back up but the risk is still present, help us to keep our values of inclusion and connection and truth at the front of our decisions and choices.
May our community thrive. May the people in our lives be held in care. May our world turn still toward compassion and care for all those in need. May we have what we need. May we remember our power. May we serve life. And may we keep compassion in our hearts as we move forward together into this next chapter of our living.
Be thou an ever-present strength with us on our journeys, O Spirt.
In the name of all that is holy,
May it be so.