The Great Prayer
—July 23

We give you thanks, O God,

You reveal your beauty in the lightness of birdsong and strength in the roar of the lion. You created the annoying mosquitos and the comforting kitties.  If ever we wonder how vast or small your reign as God, we can look to the animals of creation and marvel at your imagination and curiosity. We are awed by all that you have created and the responsibilities we have as stewards of such life.

We give you thanks that you have gathered us together and in faithful love, you made your dwelling in our homes by taking on human flesh in the person of Jesus Christ. He declared your name and shared your strength.  He touched the lonely and outcast.  He healed the sick.  He loved those no one thought worthy.  He embodied your love and grace.  For his sake, who lived our common life, tasted joy of summer sun and also suffered death, but who rose from the dead.

God, we come before you, exposed, vulnerable, and publicly placing our lives before you. Too often we follow the common path that others say is safe even if it takes us away from what Jesus taught.  We do not always put our trust in your laws and commandments to love neighbor as our selves. We confess, we don’t always stand up to bullies.  We don’t always care for the widow, the orphan, and the helpless if it means putting our own security at risk.

At this table we remember Jesus who never backed down from doing what was right, generously seeing the good in another, even the one who betrayed him.

At this table we remember in our act of receiving bread and cup, Christ welcomes us, and Christ gives us a new covenant of forgiveness that we are accepted in grace and we can begin again.

In solidarity with those who were at that first table and with all the saints before us who shared the truth of this good news, we pray together….