The Reverend Dr. Katie Snipes Lancaster

Open us, O God. Declare something still and silent within us. Let the darkness of morning unfold into new light. Let the messy, playful, noisy, active, spontaneous, unpredictable day awaken in us an inner tidal surge of love, an unconstricted melody of praise reverberating within. Let us risk delight. Let us pray even as we are unable to pray. Let us slow down into your foggy presence. Let us dwell in your enveloping presence on this wintery morning.

Work in the chaos of this day, in the urgency of now: for we have endured long work days, rushed lunches, unsympathetic coworkers, narrowed views. We have known physical burn out, the aching back, the bruised muscles, the decreased sleep, the overload of caring for another. We have tried to hold steady against the pain, the exhaustion, the trouble eating, the weakened immune system. Work in and through the chaos of now, O God, Abba, Yahweh, our Shelter and Shield, our Rock and Redeemer, long loved Lord of Lords and Prince of Peace.

For, this day holds mysteries too vast for us to comprehend and a brokenness too great to bear. In our households, mend and protect the one whose heart aches. In our neighborhoods, accompany the one whose loneliness outweighs all else. In our city, disarm the one whose violent hand can today be stayed. In our country, uplift the one whose peace and presence can reverberate across the many divisions we face. In our world and across the globe, restore and enliven the one whose voice can disrupt bloodshed and whose speech can restore justice. Let us find all this and more, renewal and transformation, as we meet you in the simplicity of a meal shared in your name.

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. 

Hear us as we pray together the prayer Jesus teaches us…  Our Father…. Amen.