A Thanksgiving Prayer for the Weary

Grateful for this sheltered place
With light in every window
Saying, “Welcome, welcome, share this feast
Come in away from sorrow”

from the Thanksgiving Song, by Mary Chapin Carpenter

As we continue to shelter in place, O God, will we ever be able to sing your praises?   Will these anxious hearts weary and heavy from sorrow be lifted?   Can Thanksgiving, Advent and Christmas even be celebrated this year, when we’re separated from those we love?  

Before you and you alone, we acknowledge these painful uncertainties.   Loss of employment, housing and health, are ravaged further by inequality.   Loved ones lost are unable be mourned.   Events that once sustained us have been put aside.   Deep divisions and threats to our democracy persist.   Our planet and her peoples crumble under the weight of injustice and exploitation.

So, we cry out, when will we be able to throw our doors wide open, O Lord?   When will lighted windows signify the sharing of the feast?  When will the Thanksgiving Song be joyfully lifted up even as we clasp hands with others?

Yet you remind us that you are always in the face of the least of these.   You come as the ignored, the marginalized and the hungry.   Yours is the face lined with sorrow.  Yours are the eyes who have seen too much.   You come as the one who is incarcerated, the one who is sick but without adequate health-care, the one who stands outside a food bank wondering if there will be enough.

Great Redeemer, in our searching and longing for you, be with us in the light of your countenance and shine through the windows of our hearts.   Let your welcoming affirmation accompany us when we bring food to the shelter, make a phone call to the lonely and write a message of cheer to the imprisoned.  So that all your children – through your unfathomable grace – may come away from sorrow, seeing one another not as strangers, but as long-lost brothers and sisters who together share in the feast of gladness.   May it be so.  Amen.

[1] Photo image from Goodfon.com

Author: Jessica McArdle

These are dark and corrosive times. As a writer and ordained minister with the United Church of Christ, I use prayer, poetry, reflection, and scripture to re-align our embattled spirits with the uniqueness and urgency of our God-given identity and call.

6 thoughts on “A Thanksgiving Prayer for the Weary”

  1. Thank you, Jessica. This is beautiful.

    I am weary but managing by the grace of God. Yesterday, I officiated my father in law’s funeral outdoors…. In Virginia.

    Love to you, Jan

    >

    Like

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