December 11, 2020
A daily prayer during this COVID-19 crisis
During these difficult days, members of the Commonwealth East 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.
Based on Mary’s Magnificat: Luke 1: 46b-55 Holy God you have brought us once again to this season of watching and waiting. Your servant Mary reminds us what it is like to wait on the Lord, and the patience and perseverance it takes to be your disciple. Gracious God we look to her magnificent words to help us attain a sense of hope in our pandemic world. Lord God there are many who are suffering, dying, and working in stressful conditions. Many are called to a mission of healing which exposes them to this deadly virus. God of grace, Mary reminds us that you are with us in the child that she carries to be born in Bethlehem and that provides hope for those who are in fear.
We ask you God of life to lift up those who are lonely, suffering, depressed, weak, overburdened and vulnerable. We ask your mercy to be showered upon them so that they too may rejoice in God our Savior. Help us Lord to hear Mary’s words anew, as we too have our souls magnified because you are doing great things through us and in us. You give us the strength to reach out to those who are in need and lift them up as we show our beloved communities what being a neighbor looks like.
Holy God your mighty arm is stretched out to receive all. In your loving arms you have done great things and lifted the hope of many and sent the proud and the rich away empty. We humbly give you thanks each day for the works of mercy, love, hope and peace that we can bring into this world. As we watch and wait with our sisters and brothers around the world for your coming again, help us to heed the words of your servant Mary, so that we not only speak them but live them all the days of our lives.
To you, by the power of the Holy Spirit, we offer honor, glory and blessing through the one you sent and will send again, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Author's Note: We have been in our pandemic state for going on 9 months now, the same amount of time it takes for a human being to bear a child at full term. In her Magnificat, Mary reminds us that through the pain of childbirth there also comes great joy. It is thus the joy that overrides the pain. There is much pain in our world as we enter our journey through Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany. The pandemic does not abate just because we put up lights and decorate a tree and sing carols. Mary reminds us of that as well, as her world is also full of pain. However Mary, our Theotokos, speaks to us words that we need to hear in our present time. These words of comfort for the struggling, the sick, the hospitalized and the recovering. She reminds us that our souls magnify the Lord when we reach out to help our neighbor and our community to overcome the pain that the world has wrought upon us.
This Advent season let us all sing with Mary her song of hope so that we too may rejoice in the mighty works that God is doing in the midst of the uncertainty of this world. Rev. Glenn Mortimer, Pastor, Wakefield/Lynnfield United Methodist Church (Wakefield, MA); District Board of Buildings and Locations; Chair, Wakefield and Lynnfield Interfaith Clergy Associations; Board Member, Wakefield and Lynnfield Coalition for Substance misuse and Mental Health; Volunteer Chaplain to the Wakefield Fire Department; Clergy Representative to the Town Council for the Wakefield Visioning Project