Devotion for May 20, 2021 from Pastor Tia Pelz of Christ the King:
God of all people, parent of every being, breath of life!
We come with prayers before you today.
With prayers of thanksgiving and prayers of lament and prayers of hope.
God, we thank you for this beautiful world you have made and trusted us with.
For the oceans and mountains, the trees and all the Californian poppies blooming around us.
For every little bit of rain and the sunshine, for fresh air and refreshing winds.
For our neighbors and friends and families. For the ones we have seen too much in the past year and the ones we long to see again and for the ones we finally got to hug again.
We thank you, sustaining Creator, for the work of all the frontline workers and scientists to get us through the Covid-19 pandemic. We thank you for their inspiration, their wisdom, their research to find a vaccine and a cure against the virus. We are grateful to live in a country where we have access to the vaccine now and can slowly sense the end of this pandemic. Thanks for all the little steps of reopening. For kids returning to school, for choirs resuming singing – mumbled behind masks – but singing. For sharing meals again in backyards and careful and short hugs. For daring to plan a summer vacation and wondering about who to see for Thanksgiving. Thank you, God!
And while there is so much joy and relief these days, we come to you with lamentations, God. We lament the pain and the fear of the past year. We lament how communities of color have been hit so hard by the Covid pandemic paired with the seemingly everlasting pandemic of racism. We lament that we see and know and still don’t change our country to be a place of true equity for all. We lament the death of loved ones and the loneliness of so many. We lament the suffering of kids and youths who have had to spend way too much time in front of screens, missing their friends and teachers.
We lament how small our thinking often is even though we are in the midst of a pandemic. Which means worldwide. Yet, God, we look around, we see that our county is moving towards reopening, that our state is doing better. And we believe that the pandemic is over. When most of the world is still battling this virus. When many people in Europe are still in lockdown or just came out of it. When people in India are dying and suffering.
God, open our hearts. Remind us that we are one world, one creation, your creation. That no life is less worthy in your eyes. That it doesn’t matter where on earth people are sick. That we need to care about each other. God, open our hearts. Not just the ones of people with family and friends overseas. But all our hearts. Pierce our little bubbles. Let us not forget our siblings across the world. The ones we know, the ones we will meet one day and the ones we will never meet but are connected to through you.
God, we pray for our neighbors, friends and families who are in fear for their loved ones in India and other countries. Especially for our sister church Good Shepherd South Asian Ministry and their members and friends. We pray for our leaders to share resources and vaccines with countries all over the world. To not just say but act as if we were one world. Because we are.
God, our hope is in you. In your Spirit who moves among us. In your breath that keeps us alive. In your creativity that renews us and gives us new ideas for how to live. How to live Christ-like. How to live according to your will. How to care for all your people.
God, we pray in Jesus’ name, our Lord. We pray in the name of the Spirit, who gives us life and energy.
God, hear our prayers!
If you would like to help the people in India with their battle against the Coronavirus, please consider donating through the ELCA!
Blessings, Pastor Tia