Holy God we approach you with hearts tender with our community’s sorrow. Still reeling from unspeakable tragedy and the sharp awareness of human violence and suffering, we look to the heavens which still proclaim your glory. We stand in awe of the new images meeting human eyes for the first time: Images of swirling galaxies of celestial star-dust, the glimpses of deep space wombs where stars beyond our imagining are being birthed into light, and the images of Jupiter’s iridescent textured atmosphere.
Our flesh tingles and our knees wobble as we try to take in the vastness of your creation, O God. Your blessings more than the visible stars even outnumbering the immeasurable galaxies that lie behind a grain of sand in an outstretched arm. In awestruck wonder we witness anew what your hand has made.
As we know your presence in the unimaginable vastness, so help us to know your nearness among us. Make us attentive to your voice, heard in cries of children born in humble places, and complicated situations where life is at risk. Help us to notice you in the small spaces: the miniscule distance between a gentle hand on a tired shoulder, indwelling between the comforter and the comforted. Reveal yourself to us O God, in the eyes of our neighbors, even those we can barely manage to greet, and especially those with whom we hold long grudges.
May all that is close and tender, and all that is vast stardust imagining, continually transform us O God. Tune our hearts to love for you and your people again and again. Continue to dazzle us with irresistible grace. Enfold us into Christ’s church. Form us into agents of your mercy and proliferators of your peace as we name before you the cares of the world.
For this life-giving, blue marble planet we call home we give thanks. Lord, hear our prayers for the restoration of our environment, for clean water, for rich soil to grow food, for pure air to breathe, and for the diversity of plants and animals that inhabit your world with us.
For your justice and peace to spread across the world, Lord hear our prayers: for all nations to live in harmony, for all who are trampled by unjust treatment, for all whose economic circumstances make them invisible, for the hurt we inflict on one another.
Lord in your mercy, hear our prayers for all who are sick, facing surgery, awaiting the diagnosis, struggling with clouds of depression, and for all caretakers. We ask that you bring your healing and comfort to hearts, minds, and bodies. Where there is grief, be ever close.
Merciful God, we offer you our spoken and silent prayers in faith and steadfast hope that you hear our prayers, as we join our voices to pray as Jesus teaches us: Our Father…. Amen.