November 18, 2007

Prayers of the People

John H. Boyle, Parish Associate

Creator God, your tender care that nothing be lost is in sharp contrast to the waste that occurs and that we sometimes perpetuate upon the earth: the waste of natural resources by pollution and neglect, the waste of public or personal property by vandalism and destruction, and the waste of human life by random violence, murderous intent, and by the chaos and carnage of war.

Yet, O God, in the midst of and over all the waste, like the cross of Christ towering o’er the wrecks of time, looms the glory of your creation, the beauty of human love, kindness, and affection, and the joy of serving those who are in need. We are grateful, dear Lord, for your mercies in the midst of the messiness of life and of the world.

Gracious God, look with healing and comforting mercy upon the sick and the sorrowing and upon all whose constant companion is pain. Bless the unblessed of the world and especially those brutalized by the seemingly endless chaos of war and by the nightmare of violence, torture, rape, and assassination. Help us to know that when we are weakest and most vulnerable, we are at the mercy of your grace. Gather up the debris of our broken dreams and recreate them into a vision of hope.

Help us, O God, to move beyond the stereotypes we have of those who are different from us, that perpetuate our ignorance of one another and breed fear and prejudice. As a modern-day queen of a biblical land has suggested, help those of us who eat peanut butter learn to taste hummus, and those who eat hummus learn the taste of peanut butter, and to do it at the same table.

Guide our nation and her leaders at every level of government with your truth and justice. Guard the women and men serving in the military around the world, and grant them protection from harm and a safe return to their loved ones. As we work toward the election of new national leaders, lift above pettiness and petulance those seeking office. And help all of us, O God, to be more quick to bless others than to belittle them.

Creator God, whose tender care that nothing be lost collides with our carelessness, touch us with that care that we may experience its glory, its beauty, and its joy, that we may gather up life’s fragments that nothing nor no one be lost or wasted, and that we may so live as to show gratitude all our days for the gifts bestowed upon us, and especially for the gift of life and for the gift of your love made known so fully in Jesus Christ our Lord, in whose name we pray as he taught his disciples, saying,

Our Father . . .