This year has been different. We know you don’t need us to tell you that – but it helps to get it off our minds and you have broad shoulders to carry our burden.
Easter was different, Eid and Diwali, too. And now Thanksgiving and next it will be Christmas. We know people’s circumstances are constantly changing, that over the course of our lives festivals have always gradually changed. But that was little by little and okay. There are the family stories about “when we moved …” across countries and continents and cultures. We learnt to do the New Zealand haka and we learned those big, dark birds were edible and called them turkeys. We found Norwegian brown cheese palatable but that there is no cheese at all in many tropical countries. So many changes, Lord, but why so many all heaped on us in this one year?
So, we give thanks.
We give thanks that 10 months of concentrated, dedicated work in many countries is being brought to fruition as viable vaccines for Covid19 are discovered and successfully tested.
We give thanks for the generosity of the purchase of at least a billion doses of one vaccine for distribution in developing Countries.
We give thanks that the unprecedented lockdowns across the world are giving the opportunity for fresh, green environment, restarts.
And at the same time we recognise that disasters these lockdowns are causing – the businesses closed; the jobs lost; the lives disastrously changed by diverted medical attention; the failure of human contact.
We pray –
: for the dedicated doctors and nurses working to exhaustion, risking their lives,
: for the ministers and pastors working in unexpected new ways and through unaccustomed media to support others,
: for those who mourn and those who weep,
: for the politicians unsure which science is correct; which advisors are right,
: for elderly family members unable to comprehend the depth and seriousness “Don’t kill Gran”.
: for those who are turned into unwarranted scapegoats,
: for our own families and friends,
: for ourselves.
While all this goes on, there remains the continuing battle of wars and rumors of wars, violence used against neighbours in word or action, and refugees everywhere. We hold in our prayers those in Ethiopia and Tigray province, Sudan, Afghanistan, Venezuela, Nigeria, the USA, and in too many corners of your world. We pray for listening hearts and minds unclouded by fear and fake news. We give thanks for all working to bring peace, truth, reconciliation and justice into our brokenness.
Lord, help us to take the road less travelled that we may make a difference for your kingdom. AMEN