Gracious and merciful God, the problems facing our human family are very grave and we are no longer isolated from one another. We are confronted daily with our addiction to violence, our hatred and our greed. We are heartbroken. The media are relentless in their presentation and critique and we all long for some good news. It is so easy to forget that your Son, Jesus, is always the good news and that he has given us the remedy for our brokenness. “Father, forgive them, they don’t know what they are doing.” He spoke so clearly. We ask your Holy Spirit to remind us of this again and again. We ask you for the gift of hope in our lives and know that we need to turn to one another for the confidence and assurance that we will emerge from situations, that, in the short term seem hopeless. Banish fear and anxiety from our hearts.
Tonight we gather to affirm one another and to remove the barriers that seem to sour our relationships and keep us at a distance. Heal the short tempers, the crabbiness and the grudges we hold, against one another, against our political system, against our Church, against our financial institutions. We could go on and on. Prompt us to be beacons in the present darkness, and especially beacons to one another. We are all guilty of some selfishness, many of us have lived beyond our means and we become angry and irrational and embrace ideologies that protect our acquisitions. We need your help to stop contributing to the larger greed that tears at our world. We believe in the power of your grace to change our lives and we promise tonight to be once again open to that grace. Bless us with a peaceful spirit and a desire to be reconciled with one another.