I was asked to give a prayer at church today. I don’t normally share these types of things, but was requested to do so. So here’s a copy for those who would like it.

“Jesus, we need a shepherd. We look to our leaders and see fighting and posturing where there should be informed debate. We look to the news and see sensationalism where there should be awareness. We hear of wars and famine and hostility. The whirlwind of cable news, email, voice mail, facebook, twitter, newspapers, the rise and fall of economies, and our own daily activities of work and commotion can be so loud that we hear and see nothing. We often don’t even know how little we hear and how dark our sight may be.

But still we gather and stop and in the quiet of this place we speak to one another saying, “Remember! We have a shepherd! The Redeeming Lord of a Kingdom of Abundance!” We lift each other up. We cry together and we laugh together. We remember those who have gone before us and welcome those who come after. We build a place where the whirlwind cannot form and here we come to find your way in the stained glass, in the smell of old wood, in the handshakes and hugs of friends old and new, in the music and in the dance, in the light of the candle, and in the words we share.

Thank you for this place where we can remind ourselves of this truth and be with our shepherd even as we go out to be a shepherd to others.

Help us this week to be quiet enough to hear you. Help us this week to look past the constant feed of information to see you. Help us to rest in that still place where we can reach close to your truth and see the work that matters in the world around us. Give us the strength to labor for friend and stranger alike so that we may lift what sorrows we have and share in each other’s joys. Show us again the way of peace and hope and love that we may continue to name you our Lord in sorrow and joy.”