Prayers of the People March 21, 2021

The Reverend Christine V. Hides

Holy, Gracious, and Generous God,

We come before you today with sometimes fragile yet undeniable hope in our hearts. Like the delicate, unfolding petals of the early spring crocus, an end to this pandemic seems, somehow, impossibly possible. Hope is made especially tangible in the mass vaccination sites where hundreds of workers and volunteers show us what can happen when people work together for the good of all, using the gifts you have bestowed upon each of us. We are grateful beyond measure for this miracle of cooperation, technology, and scientific development.

And yet Holy God, even as we witness the best of humanity, when we unfold our newspapers we are also confronted with our worst inclinations. We pray fervently for peace and an end to injustice everywhere. We pray especially for the families of the victims of the Atlanta Spa shootings. God free our society from the evils of racism, hatred, and dehumanization. Teach us to walk in the ways of Jesus Christ, the ways of righteousness and peace.

As our communities, businesses, and institutions begin new phases of reopening, as we begin to unfold ourselves from our Zoom cocoons, Lord help us not forget the lessons we have learned over the past year: the letting go of the endless hustle that left us isolated even in the midst of a crowd, the increased appreciation for your creation and ability to spend time in it, the creativity and intentionality with which we found ways to nurture relationships with loved ones, and the new and life-giving awareness of our need for one another and the flourishing of all your people. Lord keep us mindful that you are the source of our hope in the hardest times. Your love is steadfast through every season, phase, stage, and tier.

Hear our prayers today Holy One, for those who are in need of healing, for those who yearn for human touch, and for those who are longing for hope. We trust them to your divine care. Hear our prayers for those you have called to lead our church, our workplaces, our communities, our nation, and our world. We trust them to your divine wisdom. Hear our prayers for those this week who are traveling, taking tests and finals, and tending to others in need. We trust them to your divine mercy.

As Jesus offered his prayers and supplications earnestly, we come to you today with joys too abundant for words, and heartache too wrenching for tears, knowing that you hear our deepest desires. Let your kingdom unfold in our hearts and in our world through Jesus Christ who is our light and our salvation, who teaches us to pray

Our father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name…. Amen.

March 25, 2021

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