The President has the virus.
In some capacity, we are all reacting to this. We are reacting to how he is responding to treatments. We are questioning our own faith as we try to summon prayers and compassion. Some of us are angry at the kind of medical care that is available for him when 200,000 others have died. We are all reacting. We are all feeling something about this and I wonder how we will feel at the end of the week. So much and nothing seems to happen in one week in these pandemic days.
I find myself thinking about these words from Matthew Skinner because I have pushed off confession in the worship elements I’ve written here. (That would also be true for my own prayer life.) I feel the despair deep in my bones but we are people of resurrection hope. We believe that the worst thing will not be the last thing.
I am also looking to simplify things a bit as I try to prepare for some new things I hope to share with you. I won’t share as many links as I have in the past but that shouldn’t stop you from sharing other excellent prayers in the comments.
Call to Worship O God, we come stiff-necked and imploring you because we don't really want to admit to ourselves that we've given up. We've found other comforts and made our own way. We have had enough of the outer darkness. We have wept and wailed so that it feels like nothing left. We are not sure what you could do, O God, but we are stiff-necked enough to show up again and ask you to act. Come, O God. Your people are waiting.
Prayer of Confession O God, we haven't prayed as we should. We have hidden our thoughts from you so that our necks are now quite stiff. We have been stubborn but determined. O God, we had so much hope. We want to believe there is still hope but the outer darkness of this pandemic has thrown us. It has tied us in knots and we feel stuck. We no longer remember how we got here. We aren't even sure what day it is. We are that close to despair, O God, but we believe in your redemption and your liberation. We believe that you can make a way where there is no way. We believe that even though we do not know where we are going, you are guiding us into the future with love. We pray now for the tiniest glimpse of that love so that we can feel that grace thump within our hearts to find the courage to face another day. We pray in your endless hope. Amen.
If your confession leads into the Passing of the Peace, I would seize the power of this liturgical moment this week. Maybe it’s a flash of waves and smiles upon your Zoom screen or maybe it’s a short testimonial from two or three people about God’s love. Or maybe you ask the youngest members of the church family to share their visions of the future.
Give them hope. I hope in that gift you find even more for yourself.
If you are planning ahead, and I can’t really fathom that in my own pandemic reality, I shared prayers for next Sunday in the RevGalBlogPals’ weekly Worship Words including a Prayer for the Church and a Prayers of the People inspired by the Hebrew Scripture. You can find those prayers here. As I try to make space for what I’m hoping will emerge in the future, you’ll see more hints that I’m working at lease one week ahead in the Revised Common Lectionary.
That’s all I’ve got for you this week.
I am always praying for you, dear pastors, liturgists and musicians.