Rev. Cheryl Harader:
Creator God, Loving God,
We come to you this morning as your people, trying to hold on to your love, your hope, your grace.
We live in a world that lacks love, hope, and grace, and sometimes we begin to believe, as we have heard too many times, that “the end is near.” Whatever that may mean. Whatever it means, O God, some days we feel like it’s true.
It’s hard to remember your life of healing and forgiveness when we see news of violence and when we hear our leaders, political and otherwise, spew hatred.
God, some of us have family and close friends who are suffering physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. We know they often feel lost and alone, and we want to help. But to tell you the truth—and we might as well because you know it anyway—to tell you the truth, we feel lost and alone at times, too. And we begin to wonder about the possibility of a future that is your future. We wonder if this breaking and broken world, these breaking and broken people, can find new life. That’s your promise, God. And we cling to that promise. So, above all else, help us always to love each other; give us grace to be hospitable as we speak and act on behalf of you, O God, in the name of your Son. And help us to serve one another in strength, sharing the hope that is in Jesus Christ. When life seems bleak, help us to look and see love, grace, and hope in the world around us, and in the life, death and glorious resurrection of Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray the prayer that he taught us, saying, “Our Father, who art in heaven . . .” Amen
(based on a litany by Rev. Joanna Harader)