This evening Steve and I attended a Jazz Vespers at our church that was really wonderful. I wanted to share with you and your readers some of the timely and meaningful pieces that were in the liturgy. I found them especially comforting and uplifting and I hope you do, too.
The opening prayer is: Loving God of all that is, help us to be still. Loosen our grip on our cares and concerns; clear away all stresses and frustrations. Quiet our busy minds; open a space deep within us; fill us with your grace. Help us to see all you have made as holy, the earth and people as sacred. Help us to live our lives with you at the center. Guide us, encourage us, resource us to articulate your kingdom, in partnership with those who differ most from us. Surround us with your love that casts out fear. Fill us with your hope for the world as it might be. Amen.
Another wonderful piece is one by Fred Buechner:
Listen to your life.
See it for the fathomless mystery that it is.
In the boredom and pain of it no less than in the excitement and gladness:
touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it
because in the last analysis all moments are key moments,
and life itself is grace.
The last one is from A New Zealand Prayer Book:
Earth-maker, Pain-bearer, Life-giver,
Source of all that is and that shall be,
Father and Mother of us all,
Loving God, in whom is heaven:
The hallowing of your name echo through the universe!
The way of your justice be followed by the peoples of the world!
Your heavenly will be done by all created beings!
Your commonwealth of peace and freedom sustain our hope and come on earth.
With the bread we need for today, feed us.
In the hurts that we absorb from one another, forgive us.
In times of temptation and test, strengthen us.
From trials too great to endure, spare us.
From the grip of all that is evil, free us.
For you reign in the glory of the power that is love, now and forever. Amen
God bless us all! Amen.