Seminarian Morgan King offered these Prayers of the People on Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018.
Gentle God, we made it here this morning. We fought the traffic, the crowds, the lethargy, the excuses, and we made it here. We made it here, because we say that you are here, we believe you are here, we have felt you here, seen you here, we have known you here. And so, seated in this Sanctuary, we've come back. We've returned to our sacred meeting place to listen for wisdom's voice, to look for faith's handiwork, to find hope's promises, to wait for a miracle.
We need a miracle. We need understanding, we need justice, we need peace. On the very day we used prayers to remember our baptism, ashes to remember our death, scripture to remember your life, worship to look forward to your resurrection, the alerts began, the texts came in, the emails arrived, and we heard once again of cruel death, of violence unspeakable, of destruction unthinkable. And in our need for understanding, for justice, for peace, for a miracle, we react, we point fingers. We are quick to blame those who we say ought to create policies to protect us. We sneer at the men and women we say should have protected us. We point fingers at the parents we say should have seen this coming.
And then we turn, and we point those same fingers at you, God. In our need for some sort of rationale, for logic in the chaos, for purpose in this pain, we blame you. And we need a miracle.
During this Lenten season, we remember that into this world, even at its darkest, you, God, have entered. We remember, we declare, that you have taken on our humanity, borne its deathly pursuits, declared its debts rent, known its pain of isolation, of rejection, of hatred. We remember, we insist, that the light has shone, that you have shone, that the darkness has not overcome you, cannot overcome you, will not overcome you. This is a miracle.
In the darkest of moments, in the deepest of fears, you are there. In the midst of our pain, you are there. You are here. This is the miracle, the miracle we need, the miracle we look for, the miracle for which we wait these 40 days.
You are the miracle. You are the miracle who hears our cries, comforts us in our pain, guides us in our confusion. You are the miracle whose love reaches further than any hate, whose acceptance goes deeper than any rejection, whose promises always remain.
And to that miracle we look. To that miracle we cling. To that miracle we find our strength, our hope, our joy. And led by this miracle, we pray, saying:
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.