I write this on a damp grey morning, after listening to the radio news: rising tension surrounding Ukraine, demonstrators taking over cities and closing borders, the shocking total of overdose deaths in BC, the increasing impact of climate change, the ongoing effects of Covid-19, and more. We are living in challenging and disturbing times, for sure.
I for one often feel so helpless. What can I, what can we do, in the face of all this? What has our faith to say to us? Where do we find the abundant life Jesus came to bring?
First, I am reminded of the old hymn “Count your blessings, name them one by one.” In the midst of what sometimes seems all doom and gloom, there is still much for which we may give thanks: our life, our family or friends, our community of St. James’ and the life in Christ we share together; the beauty and wonder of creation, not least the beautiful part of the world in which we live.
Then we may pray: for the world and its peace; for civil harmony and an equitable society in our own country; for an effective response to the opioid tragedy. That is a broad canvas, as it were.
We may pray too for ourselves, for grace to be signs of the light and love of Christ to those amongst whom we live day by day, that we may reflect and flesh out God’s love for all, the dignity and worth of everyone. Yes, the world needs change, but that change begins with us.
I offer the following prayer, part of one written for Indigenous Peoples Day 2020. Its focus, rightly and properly, is on Indigenous-Settler reconciliation, but it has a wider relevance, I believe, in our disturbed world and country in 2022.
O Creator, faithful Guide,
Show me the path towards right relations,
Shape not only my words and deeds,
but even more, my reactions and thoughts.
Open my heart to the wonder, the beauty, the gifts
of the person next to me,
the protestor on the news,
the culture so different from my own.
Expose my racism,
Root out my deep-seated fear of change,
That I may be healed within,
even as I try to be part of the healing of Your world.
From “Prayer of a white settler”, Shannon Neufeldt
National Indigenous Peoples Day 2020
Download the Sunday service booklet here: Liturgy at Home Epiphany 6 February 13 2022