A Meeting on the Road
Ever present God,
Although we are physically separated at this time, we come together at this point of our journey, as one body, your Church.
We thank you for your Spirit uniting us in love and helping us to worship you wherever we are and however we feel, in spirit and in truth.
Help us to meet and to know Jesus in our midst.
Give us open hearts, minds and eyes, to see your provision, mercy and grace around us and we thank you for Jesus, for all that He has done for us.
Prayer by the President and Vice President of the Methodist Conference (2019-2020)
God of connection and relationship
we thank you for the gift of the internet
that at this time of isolation
through these virtual means
we can be in touch
with people we love and miss dearly.
but we ask you also to remind us
that your incarnation is about flesh and blood
here and now, presence and promise
in the world of physical bodies and bones.
So forgive us if we are using our on-line presence
on twitter, email, youtube and instagram
as an anaesthetic to ease for the grief we feel
for not being able to hold each other,
sing together, feast together.
Forgive us for the obsession of wanting likes
checking data, of escalating angst
of sharing our fears and small dramas
of believing what we are told on-line is true
without taking a reality check.
Thank you for giving us the internet as a means of being together for now, but one day, let us put it down, turn it off
silence and pause it, see it for what it is
so that we can once again
look into each others eyes
touch each others hands
dance together on this solid ground
dip our bread into a common communion cup
and know your profound and real presence
in this beautiful and terrifying world.
Reading: Luke 24:13-35
During this current situation, I imagine many of us will have felt like the disciples in today’s reading; shocked, bewildered, heartbroken by the turn of events.
However, compared to the disciples processing their road to Emmaus experience, we have the benefit of hindsight. We read the story through the lenses of time, tradition and personal experience which can enrich our understanding of events.
As I have been reflecting on the lense of time and how it can alter our perceptions of an event, I wonder how we will look back at our time in lockdown at the end of 2020? How will this period be recorded in the history books in decades to come? Of course, we can’t know for sure as we are still living through it and there are so many uncertainties ahead.
So what can we do in the meantime? Like the disciples, when I have been in the middle of a difficult situation, overwhelmed by life’s challenges and unable to fully understand what is happening around me and within me, I have been blessed by fellow travellers. These companions on the road may be a friend, counsellor, minister or even a stranger. Perhaps you can think of those people who have come alongside at just the right time, who embody God’s unconditional love. I thank God for those companions who have spoken into my situation to bring clarity and hope. I am also thankful that God’s spirit lives within us as our constant companion and counsellor. For me the person of the Holy Spirit reminds me of the words of Jesus and equips and guides me along God’s path of peace.
At this time of uncertainty, I pray that you will be grounded in the promises and love of God and be filled with God’s spirit. And perhaps for the time being at least, remotely find new and reconnect with old companions on the journey through the wonders of technology.
All rights belong to Marty Haugen.
Prayers of intercession
We thank you for the healing ministry of Jesus. We thank you that he bought renewal and wholeness of life: signs of your kingdom here on earth.
We pray for those who are unwell at this time: for those already infected by the virus and those most vulnerable to the disease.
We pray your protection and grace for all medical professionals and care workers in the NHS and residential homes.
We pray for our public healthcare leaders and government agencies that they might be informed and as well prepared as possible.
We pray for the researchers in the laboratories who are tracking the course of this disease, and for those searching for treatments and vaccines.
We pray for all whose lives are disrupted. We pray for families who have been separated and for those whose livelihoods have been jeopardized.
We pray that through this crisis you may draw us closer to you, and that we may grow in compassion for one another and for the world you created.
In the healing name of Jesus Christ,
Numbers 6:24-26 New International Version (NIV)
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peace.
Elevation Worship – The Blessing (Lyrics) ft. Kari Jobe & Cody Carnes