Here is a pastoral prayer for the season in which we find ourselves. It was submitted by Reverend Brenda Torrie, First United Methodist Church in Newcastle, Wyoming.
Caring for Our Neighbors: A Pandemic Pastoral Prayer
In these days of knowing, not knowing,
We, like the buds on the trees,
Are eager to burst forth into the world.
Hold us gently in place
Until we are certain in the ways of loving our neighbor.
Let us not toss ourselves and neighbor into thoughtless harm.
Let us recall that all life is sacred in your eyes,
not only that of the unborn child,
but also those with lines of life lived etched upon their hands and faces,
and including those whose immune systems are compromised.
These, too, are your beloved, whose care we are blessed to bear.
And we seek blessing upon those
who have answered a call to care for us
in our times of physical healing,
no matter our opinion, our ideology, our hardship, Lord.
These, we hold in our care as neighbors.
Help us to hear that caring for one another
is your command on our lives.
Open our ears to hear the tragedy in this time of coronavirus,
and not only our own anxiety and grief
that may come on blustering words and tired rhetoric.
Instead, let us think on how we will make the world a better place.
Instead, let us think on what kindness, however small,
we might offer someone.
Instead, let us remember that our life is not our own,
but belongs to you.
Instead, let us dream how we might enter our communities
to be a beacon of hope for those living in disorder
to come alongside them while they find order;
alongside them while they reorder their lives.
Help us always, Lord, to remember our promise to you
that we will care for our neighbor as ourselves. Amen.
~ submitted by Reverend Brenda Torrie, First United Methodist Church in Newcastle, Wyoming