As we abide together in the middle of this week, the grayness has plunged from the skies to accompany me on earth. The fogs from above are wrapping themselves around my tired brain.
Focus! I tell myself again – FOCUS!
And yet, my skull is filled with haziness instead of the concentration that’s much desired.
God, I ask you again to help me focus. And help me stop criticizing myself for fogginess that’s taken over my brain. My body is human, my mind is human. May I realize that my humanity is needed and which you have created to be a superpower.
As days expand and the colors stretch upon the horizon, my spirit celebrates the growing glow across the hours. This light fills our spirits with gentleness as the chilly winds whisper while it whips throughout its frigid path.
May we ignore the chill and the shadows. Even when the nights are cold, may we turn to what warms us: love, laughter, friendships. May your glow expand in our hearts- even when nights are long.
When extreme weather shoves milder temperatures out of the way, we know you are here to warm our souls and cool our spirits when needed.
In this moment, we know the mouths of people are tearing up the hearts of your children. In this hour, our siblings are crying tears from the hate setting this world on fire. Words melt hope. Words erase progress and possibilities. And as our friends are working to pick themselves up again, more venomous sentiments inflame their weary souls.
In this moment, may we work to build up the hearts of your children. In this hour, may we dry the tears and build joy as we calm the flames of hate. May we build hope in the hearts of our neighbors. May possibilities and progress appear in the visions and dreams of our loved ones again.
For our souls are too weary to worry about what will come next.
God of love, can you awaken us to the ways we enable hate? God of grace, can you fill us with ways that we can extend your mercy? God of hope, can you build a healthy power in each one of us- A power where we walk away from words, and fists, and systems of destruction?
May your loving-kindness surround us like a refreshing stream, Cooling us from hostilities and resentments, And reviving us for the road ahead.
We stop on this island in the middle of this week’s seas, reflecting on the days behind us. As we turn around to head forward, we sit, wondering where this energy is – the power to complete this week with love, grace, and enthusiasm.
For all we want to do is nap on the island in the middle of this week’s seas. Such physical and mental exhaustion wipes us. Do we have enough vigor to make it to tomorrow’s land? Will we have enough stamina to work until the tasks can be completed?
We know all strength originates with you, Divine Stamina. Through your energy, we find our energy.
As we move ahead, may your Holy Air around us carry us from task to task, taking the weight off of our hearts and heads and feet. May the warm breezes comfort us when the road seems long.
And may we see you clearly in each movement in the journey.
For the first awakened breath we take for this day, we celebrate with you. We pull ourselves out of our slumbers to see where our adventures with you will go.
But first, coffee.
We give much gratitude for the beans that you have produced to give us an elixir of awakeness.
For the smooth (or bitter) tastes that cross our taste buds, we give you gratitude. For the many ways that we can enjoy the fruit of your creation, we give you thanks. For the second and third winds these beverages bring our way, we share our appreciation with you, Holy One.
With our mugs and recycle-able paper cups, we toast our ritual of dawn with you, God of alertness and light.
This beautiful space today reminds us that we co-create with you. Each brick reminds us of our strength through you. Each window reminds us of your light that shines through us.
God of Love and Light: Bless the space today. Bless each brick, each panel of wood, each nail which has assembled this building. Bless all of the hands and hearts which have built and restored this place as we give much gratitude for their gifts. Bless all who have given their treasures in making this day possible.
Each time two or more are gathered in this space, may they see your presence surrounding them. In gatherings of joy, fill their hearts with happiness, and may this room be filled with laughter. As groups congregate for solemn occasions, surround them with your peace, and may their souls experience your comfort.
We give thanks for the saints whose gifts continue to echo in this sanctuary. May their memories continue to bless current and future generations who congregate in this place.
May this space be one which builds community, believing that your love will strengthen our ties and create your realm on this earth.
This was written for the Celebration of the Restoration of Heritage Hall at St. Paul United Church of Christ, April 2022.