Rev. Carolyn Stephens
Most loving God, we thank you for being with us throughout this pandemic that has distorted life as we know it in our country and across the world. It is your loving presence that has kept us during these hard and trying days.
There were days when it seemed like the virus was winning and the world was spiraling to an end, but your loving presence reminded us that the victory is yours, and no power, seen or unseen, can displace you or exceed your might. When we were afraid of the reports of how many people have contracted the virus and how many lives had succumbed to its blow, your presence reminded us that you are the Great Physician, and of the resurrection hope we have in you.
When the speed and ease of the contagion compelled us to shelter in place, severely curtailing our ability to physically help others in need, your presence reminded us that your love and hands are extended through so many working on the front line. When our hearts broke at the loss of not being able to gather corporately to worship you, your presence reminded us that we are the church and you are with us, even as we adapt to a new way of “being together.”
It is your loving presence that allowed us to cling to the hope of another day, to hold fast to the truth that you are with us and will never leave us or forsake us, and to see your goodness in the midst of this crisis.
So this day, we stop to thank you for your loving presence. Ever so often in times past, we rushed through our days, neglecting to take the time to be aware of you and nurture your presence in our lives. Yet you are with us, closer than breathing itself. And when we are aware of you in our lives, we are emboldened to live fully each day, even in the midst of a pandemic.
We thank you, most loving God, for your present presence. It is in the name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen!