Sunday, January 14, 2001
Offered by Steven Runholt, Pastoral Resident
We do greet thee, Lord, who art our sure redeemer. We greet you who meet us in so many ways—as creator, as infant, rabbi, and friend, as father, mother, and savior. We thank you for the varied calls that come to us in these encounters, these bright and startling epiphanies: calls to follow, to serve, to love, to take risks for justice, to work hard, in our own way, at turning water into wine, turning the everyday elements of our world into opportunities for people to see and know the miracle of your saving love.
In all your manifestations, God, you come to set us free. And so we pray for all who are not free. We pray for those held captive today by armies and governments, by hunger and poverty, by power and wealth. You have given us the keys to your kingdom, O God. Help us use those keys responsibly, courageously, to open, where appropriate, the doors of real prisons. To open them so that, forgiven, mothers and fathers might be returned to their children and homes and communities. Give us boldness and grace to open hearts locked in fresh pain or old hatred, minds bound by doubt or ignorance.
We thank you today for your constant call to unity in the body of Christ. We thank you especially for the visit of Cardinal Cassidy. Bless him in his efforts to promote Christian unity that your church might thereby be strengthened in its service and empowered in its witness.
We thank you for this glorious space in which we worship, for windows that glow so beautifully, for music that echoes the voice of angels, for the Word, which inspires, convicts, and transforms us. We worship in a literal sanctuary and we are glad to be here and to meet you, again and again. Send us out when we go to follow you, Lord Jesus, where you would be found. Help us touch with our lives and our time the people of our day whom you would touch—the homeless, those who are broken in body, mind, and spirit, the least, the last, the lost, the lonely. Give us energy and vision to work for your kingdom, that longed for reality for which we pray, saying together, Our Father . . .
Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church