Will you love the “you” you hide if I but call your name? —Will you quell the fear inside and never be the same?
Will you use the faith you’ve found to reshape the world around, through my sight and touch and sound in you and you in me?
“The Summons” (Traditional Scottish song, words by John Bell)
Oh Lord, you are speaking to us, calling us through the ages, beyond time itself. We hear your voice through prophets and burning bushes, in the questions of young adults, the roar of wind and singing forest. Help us to listen. Guide us from fear to action. It is such a leap. It doesn’t feel possible. We lose our way so quickly. We worship you in a world that worships things, walls, winning and hoarding, fame and notoriety. How do we reconcile famine, epidemics, resistance by leaders, poverty and the turning away of great need? Still you call us. We are listening in this moment.
We hold in prayer the East African peoples of Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia where heavy rains in October and November (300% above average) have tipped the scales allowing for swarms of desert locusts to annihilate crops and pastures and farmer’s livelihoods. We pray for the people of Uganda where floods are washing away homes and families. We pray for Ugandan climate activist Vanessa Nakate who is speaking out against racism, suppression and the invisibility in the news of Africa’s climate disruption. Strengthen her resolve and voice. We are listening.
We pray for the peoples of Puerto Rico who devastated by hurricanes, lack of federal support for the restoration of so much infrastructure, and who now suffer through reoccurring earthquakes and aftershocks that are frightening and destructive. We pray for resources to be brought to bear to improve roads, bridges, homes, schools and water systems. We are listening.
We pray for governments around the world and, particularly in the United States, where divisiveness is at a high. We pray that your peace and justice would lead the way for those governing all your people. We are listening.
Mysterious is your work in us — perhaps we don’t have to understand, but just hold on to being grateful. Guide us then in each holy moment, clearing our vision, enlivening our touch, awakening our voices.
We are the young our lives are a mystery,
we are the old who yearn for your face,
We have been sung throughout all of history,
Called to be light in the whole human race.
Gather us in the rich and the haughty,
Gather us in the proud and the strong;
Give us a heart so meek and so lowly,
Give us the courage to enter the song.*
*Excerpt from Gather Us In (Marty Haugen)