The Reverend Katie Snipes Lancaster

God, you are incomprehensible and ordinary, found in the hum of the farthest spinning galaxies as much as the hidden heartbeat within. “All earth’s dust has held life, held soul, is holy” (“Come to Dust” by Ursula K. Ke Guin in her book So Far So Good) and so we tremble, every breath and step sacred. We gather here, in awe, ready to rehearse our thank you thank you thank you for the opening of your presence to us.

For the staccato rain upon the roof, we give you thanks. For the silhouetted trees against the pink evening sky, we sing your praise. For the clouds against bluest sky, that move and change as if sketched “by an artist who keeps changing her mind,” we praise you. For the something-more between us at once solid and insubstantial, we lift our hearts to you, O God. (inspired by and drawn from the poem “Things I Didn’t Know I Loved: After Nazim Hikmet” by Linda Pastan, from the book Queen of a Rainy Country: Poems).

Gratitude unfurls, even as we acknowledge the many sorrows of this life: the grief of loss, the burden of illness, the politics of division, the storms and struggles and impossibilities. At the same time, we come here carrying superficial worries, the geometry of our nagging go-do list distracting us from the more centered, mutual unity to which you call us.  And so we ask that all burdens fall from our shoulders, all anxiety slip from my mind, so that we might be present anew to you and one another, renewed for the work of love to which you call us. We carry our weary bodies to this sacred place, aching to be recognized, anchored, enfolded into your unfolding presence. Be with us, O God. Hear our prayer, O God. Fill us with your nearness, O God. Amen.