May 8, 2020
A daily prayer during this COVID-19 crisis
During these difficult days, Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar and the members of the Extended Cabinet 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.
O God, I awake this morning, as all mornings in these days, with an ache in my heart so strong that it permeates my whole being. The monster responsible, the pandemic that has raced around the globe, holds us hostage and demands that we maintain “social distancing,” a term previously unknown to us that has come to rule our lives.
Like so many others, I am yearning for the physical closeness of family and friends, to kiss my daughter’s beautiful face, to hug my son and feel his strength as he hugs me in return. I want to play on the floor with the babies and watch them as they grow and change. My brother is miles away; my sister lives over the mountain. We used to find occasions to travel and sit together over a meal, sharing memories and laughter.
I miss my friends and the hugs that were our greetings to one another. How I would enjoy having a face-to-face chat with neighbors about what is going on in town or down the road or up the street. I want to shake their hands and pat them on the shoulder, ask about what they’re planting in the garden this year, and part with a friendly, “Have a good day!” None of that can happen right now, and it all seems so unfair, God! Oh, Gracious God, forgive the blindness of my self-pity! The virus that has overtaken our thoughts and our attention throughout the world has affected so many more than I, and so much more severely. The suffering is great in so many ways and so wide-spread, and the whole earth screams for mercy! You have said you would never forsake us, and I am reminded that I promised to trust in your word. The scriptures assure us of the great love you have for your children, a love so deep that you sent Jesus to save us. He is truly the “cornerstone” - the foundation for the building of your kingdom. Down through the ages, you have called forth faithful servants and honored them as “living stones” willing to be included in the work of enlarging the structure designed to welcome all who believe in you, the Architect of Our Existence.
Now I, along with all your servants of the here-and-now, pray that we may be the “living stones” of this time, even in these moments of uncertainty. You have placed the blueprints in our hands, and we seek to honor you with our work. Guide us as we seek to carry “living stones” to those places where they are most needed to bring strength to your holy structure. Be with us as we guide those whom we meet on the pathways of life to the wide-open doors of your dwelling-place. Be with those who are making it safe to navigate the route and join us inside the comfort of your arms. May we offer the blessed life-giving food of bread and wine as a sign of hospitality. Accept the sincerity of my promise, I pray, to continue trusting that you are with us through all the present trials. Keep me constantly aware that my fortitude is in you and the assurance of your faithfulness to all people who commit themselves to you. Give me the endurance and the solid strength of a stone to never waiver in my belief in your amazing goodness. Most of all, help me to set aside self-pity and to, instead, find ways that I may bring some comfort and peace to those who are suffering and struggling. In the name of Christ, our cornerstone, Amen. By Rene Wilbur, New England Conference Lay Leader Based on 1 Peter 2:2-10