The Reverend Dr. Katie Snipes Lancaster

Whether under this week’s chilly storm-swept skies, or out in the sun-baked scent of spring, it seems as if the very earth sings your praise, and is calling forth your spirit.

So awaken within us, O God. Kindle within us an uninterrupted peace. Let the “gravity of your kindness” (Naomi Shihab Nye) empty us of anguish and disrupt the fog that fragments us.

Speak within us your lexicon of love, where delight and well-being transport us out of stagnation, and into flourishing.

While we know your presence does not delete hardship or erase unmanageable exhaustion, something about the simple breath within us echoes your Holy Spirit, and we are reanimated at the fragile porous boundary between us and you.

Awaken us. Summon the joy and thriving that otherwise lays dormant within us. For the foundation of your presence is set in our midst, and gives us strength when we encounter the impossible, and when we are unmoored by the unexpected. We long for you when uncertainty draws round and we stand wary of what’s next. Some days it is as if “the silence of absence deepens,” (John O’Donohue) and the weight of umpteen tomorrows extends out before us.

Melt today’s worries, even as we are beset with every kind of trouble: chronic cancer concerns, hospitalizations lasting longer than anticipated, medical disruptions unexpected and unwelcome, covid’s continued global unraveling, long working hours, long empty hours, untidy anxiety, a decreased capacity to concentrate.

Buoy us. Sweep us up. Hold us.

We witness every time of stress, strain, and conflict: hostility between nations, violence between brotherhoods, fraud within systems, clashes within families, corruption within companies, shady manipulation, deception, discord.

Put hope on the horizon. Transport us back into your foundational summons to love, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control.

Ground us. Wake us up. Kindle something true and good in our midst. Comfort us. Gather us into community. Give us laughter, friendship, and joy. And hear us as we pray the prayers of our own hearts, in faith and in silence. Our Father…. Amen.

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