The Reverend Dr. Katie Snipes Lancaster

God of this tender day, in faith and in hope we come to you remembering that from the beginning you have been trustworthy, breathing life into dust, speaking order into chaos, and making all things new. You hovered over the beginning, shaping us, forming us into family, friendship, and community, steadying us in the ways of justice and peace, planting us with love, rooting us to people and place. Yet however grounded we have been, we find ways to wander, uprooting ourselves, unhitching our lives from your embodied longing for justice and peace. Too often the rhetoric of peace is met with the reality of violence. We—the human race—are wayward and wailing, tainted by brutality and atrocity, leaving so many forever changed by the trauma of war. Today we pray for Ukraine and Russia, where so much is at stake, lives shattered and fragmented. Make it possible for soldiers to set down their weapons. Make it possible for leaders to find a courageous creative way toward peace. We can hardly express our anguish, hurt and despair knowing that our siblings across the globe are fleeing their homes, fighting for their lives, facing the impossible, and making unthinkable sacrifices.

Jesus you took us to the mountain top to glimpse your reality. Reset our expectations. Do not let war betray peace. Set us on your way toward reconciliation. Walk with us O Christ, down to the valley, where unexpected transformation is still possible. We lift up those who are suffering. Those who mourn. Those who face the unthinkable. Those who feel alone. Those who feel the inevitability of unwanted change. Be with us O Christ. Help us to see healing unfold, unpredictable, and unplanned. Help us to notice your life-altering presence spilling out in our midst.

Turn us now to this table. Accompany us O Christ. Today transform us and these familiar things—bread and cup—in the same way you continually transform the world around us. Bless bread and cup, wheat and grape, farmer and harvest, seed and sower. So that in sharing these simple elements, we might taste and see your goodness, and glimpse what it is to be in communion with you and with one another. Through Christ, in Christ, with Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor is yours, most holy God, now and forever. Amen.

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