Creation blossoms as your breezes build around us. The snow descends to earth, and you are there. The flowers bloom in various hues, and you are present. The sun welcomes the daytime with warmth, and you abide with us. The leaves of browns and greens and reds and yellows find their way to earth, and your image is reflected.
In this season of gratitude, our attention is drawn to those who love us. We gather around tables lifting laughter and carrying conversations.
For filled dinner plates, we sing our praises to you. For a person or two who will never let us go, we honor your care in our lives. For the beauty of the world and the ones who care for all of creation, we give thanks.
On days of bleakness, our eyes focus on the fog surrounding us instead of the warmth from your Spirit nearby. On days of aches from the chilly climate, we search for relief from the balmy Christ in our midst.
Distractions get the best of us. Whatever ails our bodies and minds and souls wins our attention.
We attempt to shake off any malaise as we turn onto a new road- A path in which our senses reach for your presence.
As we see you in the light, notice you in laughter, feel you in the mild temperatures, We turn our fields of emotions into gardens of appreciation.
In seasons of gratitude, may we express our sentiments freely. May our hearts open to share words of encouragement and thanksgiving to you, God, and to our neighbors.
Shorten our nighttimes of despair and return the bright daylight of joy to our souls.
God of the early morning inhales and the deep evening exhales-
We remember the souls who have gone to the other side of heaven- to your realm, where all souls, or saints as we often call them, bask in your light for all eternity. For your grace which welcomed them from near and far, and your mercy that gave them comfort upon their last breaths, we give you thanks.
We remember the souls who are here among us, dining with us at tables, sharing with us their extravagant love, quarreling with us, challenging us. Through Jesus the Christ, we work to forgive them. And while reconciliation may not happen on this side of heaven, we trust in the healing space of eternity to find everlasting peace.
We nod to the souls of the future who abide with and in the Divine energy. Through their time with God, may they carry wisdom and love into this world when their time comes to abide on this side of heaven. May their love radiate beyond the bounds of heaven to shower our earth with light and love.
As the sun breaks the bounds of the horizon, we celebrate the limitations broken by women in our world.
From work in humanities to the hours spent researching in labs, we honor the gifts of women throughout this world. May they continue to see wisdom and knowledge that comes from you.
We celebrate and bless women’s agency – especially regarding health care and careers. May they work with you to discover the best path for their own lives.
We continue to work for equal pay and health care for women. Continue to transform our hearts to see women as beams of strength and courage.
Bless the ones who are mothers and those who mother. Heal the hearts of the ones who hurt from not yet being a mom. Bless all older and younger and middle age. Bless transgender women and the ones who love women. May they live into your calling – even when that means both career and motherhood, and may we as a world honor and create roads for their sacred paths.
The possibilities of their work are endless, God of Love. Clear paths and open the souls in our world so that your light can be seen beaming from them.
Now I lay me down to rest as I have been on days on end. There are only so many movies to stream and shows to binge and Wordles to solve and naps to take.
My mind is willing. But my body is weak.
In this season of healing and boredom, may I see your presence in the spinning of ceiling fan and the pillows beneath my head. May I see your rainbow of colors in the blandness of days. May this body heal as it should, and allow me to see how my stillness rebuilds a healing body. May this season of rest nurture the soil which will hold the seeds of my creativity.
Above all, help me to see your light and love surrounding me in the comfort of my resting spaces.
Tensions rise between neighbors. Hate lurks in stores and on roads, in school hallways and political discussions. Humanity focuses more on its own individual well being instead of the well being of all.
Yet animosity isn’t the last word, and hate will never win because God’s love endures forever. Divine love dissipates all venom and sweetens all bitterness.
Even as we walk in the shadow filled valleys of toxic interactions, God’s love is lighting the path to the future. Through the Spirit of the Christ in our world, the vapors of hate will not last in our world. Love will spread from person to person, lifting the toxic fogs that linger between people.
We light the candle of love to clear the cloud of hate in our world and dissolve the mists of gloom as the Christ enters our world and brightness continues to grow. Amen.
(c)2021 Rev. Michelle L. Torigian. Permission to use in a worship service (including a streamed service) with attribution.
This day and always, we send our gratitude for our educators. From the preschool teachers who instilled a love of education from a very early age to the professors who mentored us as we sharpen our crafts, they have reflected your image as a Divine Educator.
Bless the ones who stood by us when life was hard, who listened to our pain that went far beyond the classrooms. May they realize how much their words and moments saved us from our own self-doubts and the torment of bullies.
Bless the ones who taught us information that would impact the rest of our lives and the ones who gifted us information that we never integrate into our callings. May they know that moments of education never are wasted.
Bless the ones who pointed out our talents, who spoke holy words into the world that led us to our callings. May they realize their life-long impact on the ones they taught.
Bless the memories of the ones who have passed on to that side of heaven with you. We thank you for each step walked, each word uttered here on earth. Their gifts will make an impact for generations.
And for the ones who seemed extra frustrated, whose patience ran short and their emotions ran high in the classroom, bless them with the grace they need and healing from tough moments in life.
Whether they impacted our life when we were four or fourteen or thirty-four, their words and gifts build us into the people we are today. For their time and talents, we are forever grateful.
As the dawn of a new chapter begins, we yearn for the scenes of yesterday. Our hearts miss the saints who no longer abide with us here on earth. Our souls ache to hear their voices once again, to feel our hands in theirs, to hug them again.
On this All Saints Day, give us the strength to move forward in a world without them. Comfort our grieving hearts. May your peace calm the spasms of our spirit when the grief overtakes us. May beautiful memories accompany us each day of the rest of our lives. Amen.