Pastoral Prayer for September 30, 2018
A prayer to go along with the story of Esther and my sermon Ester, Jesus and Believing Women
Gracious and merciful God
Who created us “for such a time as this” and so that we might know that “any who are not against us are for us”
...What does that mean?
These times are difficult
For many who have already been abused these are scary days, and bring up painful memories, asking those already hurt to live that abuse in mind and body again and again without aid.
For those who do not know those hurts, theses are confusing times and for some it is hard to know who to believe.
For us all it is hard to know what to do in the face of days like this.
So if you have created us for these days, tell us what to do.
You tell us, in the words of Jesus, to not just turn from sin, but to excise it from our midst.
But sometimes trying to be your people and to leave sin behind us we despair.
For the world is so big, the fights so loud, the pain and illness and busyness are just too much. Those we love struggle with illness in mind and body, with bodies that are not in working order, are in need of jobs, are tired and busy and overwhelmed. We journey with them, or know these struggles ourselves and yearn for your peace and care.
Then, this is when Jesus says we are to offer one another a cup of water. Sit together and be your people once again.
We are to comfort the pained, accompany the lonely, believe those the world call liars or just ignore, welcome the stranger, honor the child and play with the elders.
In your upside down kin-dom Oh God of fierce wonder, all things are right, we are salty and do not falter, we are kind even in our criticism, we are loving even to those whose ways we cannot understand. We know you, and so we are the salt of the earth, not passive and afraid, but courageous and defiant of the world asking us to live its ways.
It is in the presence of this Kin-dom that we know joy. The joy of new life, of children born and seasons changing, the joy of beloved community, the joy of living our calling and doing what we know is good and righteous. So we thank you for these moments of Joy, seasons of joy. Might they be abundant and visible to all and bring joy to a fearful world.
In Jesus Christ you promise us love and care, you promise us too that it is our job to offer them as well. And so Gracious Creator, send us out with minds and bodies renewed, reliant on your Grace and the assistance of your community, to do your will in this messed up, mixed up, angry world. So that we might do justice, love gracious mercy, and walk humbly as your people. For we know that it is Jesus who tells us your kin-dom can be ours here and now when he teaches us to pray together...our father...