October 2, 2022
Father, Son, Holy Spirit,
Father God, we come to you in the name of our brother Jesus, who traded places with us on Calvary. Father God, we come to you in the power of the Holy Spirit, who convicts us, compels us, guides us, helps us, changes us. Father God, we come to you as children, your children. You chose to be our Father and in joy became just that. Father, as the Apostle Paul prays for his friend Philemon, I pray that we too would come to a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ. We are both your children and being made into your children. Help us to be and to become; to integrate joy and longsuffering.
Lord, you are in the world and are glorious. The changing Fall colors remind us of the beauty of being finite, that death and renewal are shaped and purposed by you alone, and your purposes are magnificent. The seasons, through Gospel eyes, remind us that this cycle doesn’t go on eternally but culminates in your final restoration of all things; when truth, goodness, and beauty have no opposites. Today Lord we are painfully aware that beauty and sorrow co-mingle constantly. And during different seasons, it feels like sorrow no longer has beauty as a partner. Lord, sometimes it appears that only death exists, that the world is only hideous and evil. Yet as people of hope, like the Psalmist we read earlier, there seems to be nothing more than a flicker of light that says Spring is on its way and resurrection is coming.
In the midst of good times, help us to not forget that death precedes resurrection. In the midst of bad times, help us to not forget that death does not get the final word. Yet for the joy set before you, you endured the cross. The beauty of Easter is preceded by the misery and horror of Good Friday. You cannot have one without the other.
Help us to be people of hope that understand the liturgy of the seasons, continually reminded that you are gloriously in broken places, you are gloriously in broken people, and you are healing and going to heal everything.
And all God’s people said: Amen