Morning Prayer, January 20

Almighty God –

We long to see you, we long to know you. And yet, sometimes that longing feels elusive – eternally just out of our reach.  We celebrate with awe the gift of your Son, the gift of the Christ , by whose presence among us, living, walking, breathing, among us, has revealed your fullness, grace upon grace.

We sing that Christ is the world’s light. We bear witness to the world’s darkness. We contribute to division and derision. We fail to live as though we bear witness to light, choosing instead to remain blind. Help our eyes to find the inbreaking of your light, to seek out the places where the light of your grace and kingdom are casting out darkness.

We sing that Christ is the world’s peace, and yet we wonder if we will ever know this kind of peace. How ought we respond to violence, to abuse, to destruction? How can we find your peace in the midst of a world so very deeply fighting against reconciliation, a world much more at home with turmoil and destruction than peace that resembles your Kingdom.

We sing that Christ is the world’s life, and yet we seem to be better bedfellows with agents of death than your life. We bear the burden of words and actions that hurt and destroy. We turn our back on relationship in favor of what is easy, comfortable, entertaining. In our singing we proclaim your life, and yet in our lives we wreak havoc. We seek the fullness of life, and yet we often feel victim to the powers of death and the demons of pain that overwhelm.

Scriptures tell us that we have seen your face, every time we seek out the lost, the lowly, the hurting.  We see your face when we release our clenched fists, prepared for defense, and open our hands, ready to share. We see your face when we practice the challenging work of embodying the grace and compassion of the Christ – the Christ who is light, peace and life.

It is hard work, O God, but it is good work, and it is your work. Sustain us in the challenge, bring us joy in each new day.

We pray all this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

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