Lord, as we begin our day and we begin our week, we open your Scriptures and we open the newspaper to the world around us. Yet, when we do the latter, we are so often arrested by the tragedies that we face. So, in our worship this morning, may we pray through the newspaper, and acknowledge that you are with us as we do.
We open to the weather forecast and see that there is indeed more rain on the way. And so we pray. We pray for those suffering from flooding in this state and across the region. We pray for those whose homes and lives have been disrupted or destroyed by the continuing rain. We pray for farmers who can only look out at water-logged fields. And we pray for those around the country and around the world whose drought continues and who wish the rain would fall on their homes instead.
We open to the obituaries, and see name after name, many of whom we knew and loved. And so we pray. We know that each name represents a family, a group of friends, a circle of loved ones who now grieves. We pray for those who are grieving, that they would not grieve as those who have no hope, but as those who hope in your resurrection and your eternal life. We pray for Bob Shelley and the family and friends of his wife Dee. May you walk with them in their grief in these days.
We don’t even need to open the paper, as the front page is splashed again and again with the news of the political impasse over the budget in Topeka, which has now reached an historic level of inefficiency. And so we pray. For those who put ideology above the needs of working people, we pray for wisdom. For those who put political expedience above common sense, we pray for courage to do what is right. For those who are stuck in the middle, suffering Kansans, including many state workers and KU employees here in Lawrence, we pray for peace and comfort. As many wonder where or if their next paycheck will come, we pray for them and their families.
Lord, we open the paper to a world of pain and death. To wars and rumors of wars. To self-importance and self-obsession. Yet, we open it to the Good News that even in the world in which we live, you are there. You are present in the midst of our world and our pain. And for your presence in the pain, we thank you. Amen.