As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love.
If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love,
just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.
I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you,
and that your joy may be complete.
This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
~ John 15:9-12 (NRSV)
God of joy and mercy, I come to you today, seeking to experience your joy.
Even as the cross looms before us,
we long to experience the promise of peace that passes all understanding.
In scripture we read that through keeping Christ’s command of love,
we will experience Christ’s joy as well.
All-too-often, however, we are overwhelmed by a sense of anxiety,
hopelessness that oppresses us,
and keeps us from the fullness of your love.
As I look at the news from around the world,
I cry with sadness.
But I find,
if I look closely enough,
if I train my eyes to see,
and my ears to hear …
there it is!
Help me, O God, to look on the world with hopeful and loving eyes.
Help us to work, together with you, to recreate this world
into a place where your love reigns.
Where the cool spring breeze is a beacon,
where the crisp autumn air is a signal,
where the sweltering days of summer are an indicator,
and where the bone-chilling winter is a cue
that you are with us.
For in our rising,
and in our lying down,
You are there.
Guiding us toward a life of love
a life of forgiveness,
a life of hope,
a life of joy.
Fill us, O God, with your joy.
So that we are empowered to work for justice,
and for peace.
Until, one day, we awake to find this world has been transformed,
May it be so.