Sunday, January 13, 2008
Offered by Dana Ferguson, Executive Associate Pastor
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Prince of Peace, for so long we have seen visions and dreamed dreams. We have waited for one who would share God’s spirit, who would judge the fearful with righteousness and the poor with justice, who would show compassion to the weak and mercy to the condemned, who would break down the walls dividing the peoples. For so long we have seen visions; for so long have the dreams been dreamed. But now the vision has found life, and the dream has come to pass. For the newborn one has come forth and the Word has come to dwell among us, full of grace and truth. So let us enter a new era. As we sort through new resolutions, let us resolve as never before to open ourselves to the light and then to open it to the world that our visions might claim boldness never known and our dreams renewed resolve.
O Light that shines in the darkness and is not overcome, we pray for those who sit in darkness, in the shadow of loss—lost opportunities, lost possibilities, lost hope. We pray for those who wait—who wait for loved ones to return from the battlefield, who wait to return to homes they hope are still there, who wait for their voices to be heard and their lives respected, who wait for strife and hatred, vengeance and warfare to end in Palestine and Pakistan, in Israel and Afghanistan, in Iraq and Iran, in Kenya and Darfur. And we pray for those who wait for suffering to end—who wait on dirt floors and straw mats to see a doctor, who wait in sterile rooms for a diagnosis, who wait for a treatment that will work. We wait for those whose days are long grieving loss and fighting loneliness, for those who face surgery once again and those who can find no relief in their pain. O Light of the world, shine your light upon these. In the newborn one, gather us together from Bethlehem to Babylon and beyond to claim your promises that all your children might walk in the light.
O Light of the world, remind us that we are your people. Call us Hope and despair shall not overcome us. Remind us we are your servants. Call us Love and hatred shall not overcome us. Remind us that we are your messengers. Call us Life and death shall not overpower us. Light of the world, shine your light upon us and among us and in us. We who are called to be a light in this city—send us forth to live boldly the truth of your grace upon grace, giving freely to this city and to this world.
O One born in Bethlehem, who joined divinity and humanity, love of God and labor for people, unite heaven and earth in our lives, in our neighbor’s lives, in our communities, in us as in him. We pray in the name of the Light of the world, as he taught the disciples saying, Our Father . . .
Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church