From dust we came, to dust we will return.
Dear God, it’s one thing to know that, another thing to live into it with sudden gulping uncertainty, as this pandemic year has repeatedly taught us. We give thanks for the exhausted healthcare workers and for chaplains, who work miracles of healing and compassion, who hold the hands of those who are dying, whispering that they are not alone, they are not alone.
We ask your solace for those who are suffering and lonely, scared and in need, for whom the last year has felt more like the cross and less like resurrection. We give thanks for your steadfastness, and hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering.
We give thanks for this new vaccine. We offer gratitude for pastors and church leaders, for their faithfulness and creativity. May we hold up one another.
We pray that this year’s journey of Lent will teach us to walk closer with Christ. That we will learn to hold silence, to feel God’s presence seeping into our bones. That we will try to see the face of Christ in the people around us — as we pray for those we love, for people we see often but don’t know well and for those who challenge or anger us, whose stories of pain or grace we may not know. That we see the Creator’s presence in the trees, the stars, the wind, the cleft of the rock.
Through this Lent, we ask that you teach us how to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly — remembering it is from dust that we come and to dust we shall return, that we love extravagantly while we are here, that in life and in death, we belong to God. Amen.