The Reverend Dr. Katie Snipes Lancaster
You are our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help
in these days overflowing with blossom and green.
The earth reaches out to us in stillness
as sunrise mingles with the expectations of the day,
our bodies rise awake and open
to the possibility of your spirit in our midst.
Let us approach you in humility,
offering ourselves to you,
shedding the world’s lessons
of selfish ambition and vain conceit,
and instead let us stand firm in the blessing
of gentleness, mercy, patience,
and compassion, serving one another in love.
On this Memorial Day weekend,
shower us with your teachings,
reminding us again
that greater love has no one than this:
to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
As we linger with the sound
trains whistling in the distance,
whispers across the pews signaling peace,
let us not take for granted
the holy hum of this life we live.
Let us greet one another
with the hello, shalom, buon giorno,
namaste, buenos dias of peace,
in the language of our mother tongue,
speaking in one voice
the possibility of life without prejudice,
without war. (adapted from Richard Blanco: “One Today”)
For those today
who face the impossibilities of such conflict,
of violence, of confrontation and hostility,
let there be a way through.
Give this day just enough peace across the globe
for one more son-turned-solider to return to his mother.
Though we walk through the valley of shadow,
let us fear no evil, for you are with us.
global citizens bound together by the common life,
to sink down into Jesus’ vision
for peace and amity, dignity, and wellbeing.
Like a pebble that falls into a lake,
ripples slowly spreading,
let our own actions of goodwill and nonviolence
shift and change this world for the better.
Shelter and protect us, O God.
Shed your grace.
Bind us together.
And hold the sacred prayers we carry
to you this day, in faith and in silence.
And now we ask pour out
your Holy Spirit upon us
and upon these your gifts of bread and cup,
that the bread we break
and the cup we bless
may be the communion
of the body and blood of Christ.
By your Spirit make us one with Christ
that we may be one with all who share this feast,
united in ministry in every place.
As this bread is Christ’s body for us,
send us out to be the body of Christ in the world.
And hear us as we pray the prayer Jesus teaches us saying:
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