Lord, it feels as if all of creation is groaning. As entire communities are devastated by hurricanes, fires and earthquakes, we wonder if these are birth pangs or the last gasps of a world we have too long exploited. Even as natural disasters take and upend lives, we recognize that much of the world’s suffering is of our own making. We pray this day for families facing the fear of deportation. We remember refugees on the run from war. We cry out on behalf of Rohingya Muslims and others who are persecuted mercilessly because they are vulnerable, labeled “other,” “outsider” or “unworthy.” As followers of the One who came to bring Good News to the poor and release to the oppressed, we ask for the courage to stand on the side of justice, compassion and love, no matter the cost to our own comfort and safety.
Almighty God, even as the waters roar and the mountains tremble, we trust your power and providence. We cling to your promise to never leave us alone, to bring us through the sea, to sustain us in the wilderness. We thank you for the gifts you have given us, the people with whom you have surrounded us, the redemption you have won for us through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit you pour out to guide us.
May the waters and flames, the winds and shaking rocks, humble us through an awareness of our small place in your vast universe. May the tumult we see all around us upend any illusion that the world revolves around us. May the stories we hear, the images we see and the pain we feel cause us to recognize that we are inextricably connected to one another, in need of each other, all members of your household, one human family that rejoices together, grieves together and works for good together.
Abba, who creates and claims us, hold us close through the storms. Jesus, the one who calls us friends, uphold the least of us and forgive us when we refuse to see you in them. Spirit, who goes ahead of us, show us the new life that is right now being born and help us to nurture it until there is abundance for all. Amen.
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