“Yet, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.” ~ Isaiah 64:8
“The people who walk in darkness will see a great light; those who live in a dark land, the light will shine on them.” ~ Isaiah 9:2
“Either Christ is Lord of all, or He is not Lord at all.” ~ Rev George Macleod, founder of the Iona Community, Scotland
In the northern hemisphere, the earth is groaning with the approach of winter, which strikes fear and dread into the hearts of many. We remember especially those without homes, those without jobs, those without families and alone; those marginalized for being different whether through disability, illness, gender, ethnicity, or sexuality; those in refugee camps with little space, sanitation, water, heat, food, medicine, or education. The desperation which has forced so many to flee their beloved homelands often leaving family behind, trying to find peace, a means to live and provide for their families in safety and seeking hope laments a song of longing heard by you but by so few in governments and communities. Fear for their own status, families, and needs harden hearts.
Longing for light, we wait in darkness: come Light of all the World.
In the southern hemisphere, as summer approaches and the prospect of water shortage and natural threats to crops, it raises tension about sharing limited resources. We give thanks that the people of Zimbabwe have tentative hope for a new beginning with the change in leadership. We give thanks for the slight easing of the blockade on Yemen, where 7 million are on the verge of starvation; cholera still rages; and now diphtheria is spreading especially among the children. We give thanks for at least some aid getting through although it is drop in the ocean of need. Bless and protect all who are seeking to serve and care for those in need and protect all working for peace and reconciliation.
We ask for constructive change and new ways of working from the exchanges between Pope Francis and de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi in Myanmar. We continue to pray for the Rohingya people, tortured, murdered and exiled. Now many of their women are being trafficked for sex in the alleged ‘safe haven’ of Bangladesh. May truth, not falsehood, be the coin of exchange and, underpinning all efforts, may they be done in love and compassion for fellow human beings.
Longing for light, we wait in darkness: but we trust in your promise of hope, love, justice, and mercy.
As the litany of countries, problems, opportunities, crises, kindnesses, flow through our minds, Lord, God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – we seem to get confused by your seeming multiplicity when in fact you are the ultimate Unity. We give you thanks and praise that all love, beauty, truth, justice, and compassion shown in even one situation whether a Royal engagement or the extract allicin from garlic being shown to treat MRSA or harmonic music and art being shown to develop the left side of the brain, all are small but important steps to help us all grow to being the people you have created us and this planet to be – instruments of your grace and love.
Lead us from darkness to light; from unreality to what is real; from ignorance lead us to truth; lead us from fear and hatred to love and understanding; grant us peace, not as the world gives, but that we only find in you. In Christ’s name we ask this: Amen.