Sunday Morning Worship June 14, 2020 by Senior Minister Dan Smith
Holy One, Spirit of Love and Life,
where do we begin in our prayers to you on this Sabbath day?
Our hearts are overflowing, God,
yet we know you hold it all and you pray within us,
in sighs too deep words.
We turn inward to listen
for your presence our very hearts.
Speak to us now, in this silence
and through our deepest gratitude and yearnings. We are grateful today for your beauty in all creation
on a spectacular day that you have made.
Let us rejoice and be glad.
We are grateful too for the sheer joy
of seeing and hearing our children and yours.
Jesus taught us to begin with them, God,
And to let them lead us.
We thank you for their authenticity and curiosity,
for their honesty, humor and challenge.
Today, even as we hold the sorrow
of not being together for year-end celebrations,
and the fact that graduations via Zoom just aren’t the same,
we celebrate their hard work
and their milestones on the journey of faith
and pray for you to continue to be their guide.
We pray too for graduates of every age
that you will keep them and us on a path
of endless learning, growth and transformation.
Continue to pray in us, God, keep us attentive
to all the ways your Spirit is leading us in this moment.
Jesus also taught us that your truth will set us free!
Lead us in the truth that’s being told in the ages-old cries
pouring out in protests and insisting on
the birth right dignity and equality
of Black Lives,
of Indigenous Lives,
of lives of all persons of color.
We hear your truth rising too
in the ongoing cries for dignity and equality
of Trans Lives,
and all LGBTQ lives.
We grieve the loss of so many
of your precious and beloved children
to violence and racial terror.
Remind us God that those who have gone before
now stand in that great cloud of witnesses,
surrounding us, encouraging us, imploring us
to keep speaking up and acting out your truth
that by your grace and holy spirit power,
together, we may yet set free all who are
strung up, beat down and choke-held
whether by our violence or our silence.
Help us God to hear other’s voices and pain as our own,
to listen, to learn and to love.
Teach us, God, as we run the race that is set before us,
‘that what is being revealed now
is not merely some sprint
of reading or posting or holding signs
when we can find the time.
Instead God, teach us and give us the strength
to run with urgency what is surely a marathon.
By your power and grace,
transform these tumultuous and uncertain days
into a profound and lasting moment, a marathon even,
of deep remembering, deep repentance, deep reckoning.
Give us each steadfast hope, and conviction
that the truth will set us free.
We know God that to stay on the path
will require daily conditioning,
demanding us to exercise muscles
some of us barely knew we had.
By your truth, God, stretch us.
By your courage, God, push us until it hurts,
until all of us can feel the genuine pain
that is required for lasting change to take hold.
The whole creation waits,
In labor pains groaning.
And when we are overwhelmed by it all, God,
by the sadness at so much loss,
by our anger at failure after failure of leadership,
by the shame of our complicity,
restore us, God,
give us rest.
Help us to drink deep of our spiritual practices
and of the wells of your infinite love and strength.
And return us to your joy! Yes, joy!
Enliven and en-joy our work
of love and justice and peace
until your sweet kin-dom banquet comes
and your will be done.
These things we lift up, God,
as we join with our brother Jesus
in the prayer he taught us:
Our Creator who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us,
and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.