The Reverend Dr. Katie Snipes Lancaster

God, we are homesick for your presence,
the beauty of this morning
pouring straight into our hearts.

We long for you.

Our bodies are most attuned
when the breath within our bodies
makes its rhythm known,
when the sunrise or sunset
makes our heart skip a beat,
when the friendship or kinship
with those around us
show us just how loved we are.

Continue to let your love arise within us.
Continue to let your nearness awaken us.

For, we need you.
We need you on the days
when the fabric of experience
draws us closer to you,
and we need you on the days
when a palpable emptiness
distills into melancholy.

A friend is in distress.
A neighbor is not doing well.
A cousin is sick.
A child is in pain.
Our own body has betrayed us.
Our own sorrow grows.
The momentum of grief catches up with us.
We need you, Spirit of the Living God.
We need you, Lord of Consolation.

But, in trust, we know
that we can turn to you with all of it.

We trust you because
you entered into the holy city in humility,
facing an impossible future,
and you did not turn away from hardship.

You faced us with hospitality,
spreading a meal before us.

You welcomed our idiosyncratic attempts
to bless you with oil and prayer,
even as you blessed us
with a way through the valley of shadow.

So, we know that you stand now over our families,
that you guard the ones we love most,
that you do not leave us abandoned.

We know that you are a watchful protector,
in the places of the most vulnerable,
especially in Ukraine,
the children, the unprotected, the foolish, the wise.

We pine for true safety.
We yearn for true freedom.

We crave a way toward the day
when weapons are forged into gardening tools,
and we no longer teach our young ones war.

In this lasting spring,
hold our fear,
hold our regret,
see our inabilities,
and distill us toward love.

Put your love, again in our midst and hear us as we pray the prayer Jesus taught us, saying…Our Father…. Amen.