O Lord, our God! Today, your world glows with radiance. The gift of a new day, the light of the sun, the coolness of the breeze, are all reminders of your unmerited grace and care. But there is another world that is yours as well. It is a world of brokenness and barrenness, of sickness and isolation, of suffering and loneliness.
We thank you that you have owned not only the beautiful world, but the world of ugliness and sin as well. Although Jesus died for all creation, it was the world of ugliness and sin for which he died to redeem. It was to this world, not the other, that he stretched out his arms upon the cross.
Receive us, we pray, from the darker and needier side of our existence. Let the hurt and resentment in us be taken up into your love and acceptance. Let our loneliness be cared for by your presence. Let our illness be touched by your health, and our troubled spirits by our peace.
Turn our personal worlds of suffering and confusion into the world of Christ. Help us to be people who see all things differently in the light of his wonderful face. Grant that the conversion of our own worlds will enable us to care about the worlds of others; the poor, the hungry, the broken in spirit, the sick, the dying, the illiterate, the disenfranchised, and the imprisoned.
Save us from ever thinking that the beautiful world we live in is ours. Save us from thinking that the broken and lonely world we live in is the only one there is. Keep ever before us the vision of the cross. Before the cross, unite the two worlds we see. Before the vision of the cross, lead us to the spirit of the Resurrection. Then, help us to focus on the promise that the beautiful world will survive the broken one.
We come to you this day with the heartfelt request that you will accept us, and that you grant us no rest until we are willing to rest in you. We pray that you will work with us until your peace reigns in our hearts, our thoughts, our conversations, our very being and in our living together.
Without you we can do nothing; with you and in your service, we can do all things. We trust your goodness, O God, for you know better what is best for us and world. Trusting you, we commend everything into your hands, we calmly, truly, and confidently hope in you.
We offer ourselves to you in the name of your son our savior, Jesus. Amen