August 31, 2020 A daily prayer during this COVID-19 crisis During these difficult days, members of the Commonwealth West District of the New England Conference are sharing a daily prayer based on the Revised Common Lectionary for the week. You are welcome to use these in worship or in your own devotions.
Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. The commandments, ..., are summed up in this word, "Love your neighbor as yourself." Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law. Besides this, you know what time it is, how it is now the moment for you to wake from sleep. ... put on the Lord Jesus Christ, .... (Excerpt from Romans 13:8-14)
Holy God, you are our heart's desire. In quiet joy and humble spirit, we come before your presence. You never forget your children; you comfort those who are restless and fearful; you call us to a new way of being.
Loving God, we live in a world fragmented by greed and hatred, grief and suffering. Yet, in your mercy and compassion, we bring our prayers. Infections rise and social restrictions are re-imposed in many places. We continue our prayers for those who have lost their lives, infected, their families, medical and essential workers, and all those who are in social isolation. We lament that, in our society and all over the world, billions of people, especially in Palestine, Yemen, Syria, Afghanistan, Uighur and Tibet in China, struggle from hunger, disease, discrimination, violence, oppression and brutality; suffer without access to medicine, sanitation, clean water, place to sleep, and food, particularly the poor communities, the homeless, and the refugee camps; women, girls, and sexual minorities routinely harassed, abused, and assaulted. The pandemic has made their already dire situation even worse. Their suffering seems neglected and endless.
Our Christ taught us that if we do not love our sisters and brothers whom we can see, we cannot claim to love God who is unseen. O God, let your Spirit create in us awareness and humble discipleship; the courage to speak up for justice; and the faith to take right actions in order to bring practical changes for the least of the least among us. Gracious God, bless us not to slide into selfishness of focusing on ourselves, our families, our churches in these challenging times. In your mercy, hear our prayers as we offer these in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Rev. Byungmoo (Moo) Lee, Pastor of Wesley United Methodist Church, Worcester, MA In response to Romans 13:8-14