Sunday, August 19, 2007
Offered by John W. Vest, Associate Pastor
Holy God, with ancient and sacred words
you spoke creation into being.
You made it in perfection,
in perfect harmony with itself and with you.
You called it good, and it was so.
Yet anyone with eyes to see
can look around at the world as it is now
and know that it is not as you intended.
The sins of generations
have tainted the beauty of your creation.
Instead of harmony,
we find strife.
Instead of wholeness,
we find brokenness.
Instead of unity,
we find division.
Instead of communion,
we find estrangement.
We are peoples divided against ourselves;
we sow conflict and make war.
Our bodies and minds fail us;
we suffer illnesses we can and cannot cure.
We grieve when loved ones die;
we mourn tragedies we feel helpless to avoid.
Our families splinter into pieces;
our relationships slip away.
We brace ourselves for storms and floods
and pick up pieces of life when we are assailed.
The very earth we call our home shakes beneath our feet
while we desperately grasp for stability.
Loving and gracious God,
into this broken world
you send a love as deep and ancient as creation itself.
You call to us;
your seek us out.
Though we run away,
you gently draw us down paths of reconciliation—
reconciliation with you
and reconciliation with each other.
In the midst of darkness and despair,
you speak words of hope.
Deep within our hearts
and as a gathered community
we feel the rising of shalom,
the dawn of a new day.
Peace . . .
Justice . . .
Healing . . .
soon, these will no longer be dreams,
but a new reality in you.
Like the Alpha and Omega,
creation will find completion:
the restoration of the goodness you gave us
so long ago.
And now, dear Lord,
we listen for you
as you call us to participate in this restoration,
as you give us a vision,
as you equip us for service,
as you fill us with your love.
In the words that Jesus spoke
and the life that he lived,
we’ve seen this vision realized.
Fill us with your Spirit
and help us to follow in Christ’s steps.
Help us to be faithful disciples.
Help us to be the body of Christ
for a world you love so much.
Even now in the stillness of this moment,
we join our voices with his,
praying words that he taught us.
Our Father . . .
Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church