The Reverend Dr. Katie Snipes Lancaster

Before you, O Wellspring of Life, we fall silent. Our words, inadequate to express our hearts, tender and alive to this day. We notice the breath within, the slowing of heartbeat to match the possibility of peace that you place in our midst. Give us your peace that passes understanding. Calm our worried, weary soul. The world around us builds an altar to fear, and we cannot hear our own thoughts, the news out of a small school in Texas a reminder that all is fragile. We are a people called to remember. As we approach your table of love, bread and cup placed before us, we remember the way you faced the fragile and violent realities of the first century, and now we remember the 21 children and teachers who died this week in Uvalde. (chime 21 times). We feel “the wonder and terror of being alive” (Carlos Castaneda). We feel grief at the magnitude of tragedy and we feel ill equipped to forge a future with hope in a world divided. Unite our nation, one heartbeat, one breath, prepared to love and ready for a renewed hope. Let us commit to remembering. Let us remember our common hope as a nation.

Let us hear your longing, O God, a longing for a world where children and teachers can learn without fear. You call us to participate in one another’s lives. To live fully into the language of love, entangled in one another’s well-being. So renew us, O God. Deepen us here at your table. Mark us for service. Bring us closer to one another, a community alive with creative imagination toward a future marked by thriving. Let us bear one another’s burdens. Let us participate in each other’s lives, working for a common good.

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.

And hear us as we pray together the prayer Jesus teaches us…Our Father….

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