CALL TO PRAYER 

Yes there is fear.

Yes there is isolation.

Yes there is panic buying.

Yes there is sickness.

Yes there is even death.

But, they say that in Wuhan 

After so many years of noise.

You can hear the birds again.

They say after a few weeks of quiet

The sky is no longer thick with fumes.

But blue & grey and clear.

They say that in the streets of Assisi,

People are singing to each other

Across the empty squares,

Keeping their windows open

So that those who are alone may  

Hear the sounds of family around them.

They say that a hotel in the West of Ireland is offering free meals & delivery to the housebound. Today a young woman I know is busy spreading fliers with her number through the neighborhood so that the elders may have someone to call on. Today Churches, Synagogues, Mosques & Temples are preparing to welcome & shelter the homeless, the sick, the weary. All over the world people are slowing down & reflecting. All over the world people are looking at their neighbors in a new way. All over the world people are waking up to a new reality. To how big we really are. To how little control we really have. To what really matters. To Love.

So we pray & we remember that. Yes there is fear. But there does not have to be hate. Yes there is isolation. But there does not have to be loneliness. Yes there is panic buying. But there does not have to be meanness. Yes there is sickness. But there does not have to be disease of the sou. Yes there is even death. But there can always be a rebirth of love. Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now. Today, breathe. Listen, behind the factory noises of your panic. The birds are singing again. The sky is clearing. Spring is coming. And we are always encompassed by Love.Open the windows of your soul. And though you may not be able to touch across the empty square, Sing.  -Lockdown by Richard Hendrick

A Pastor’s Prayer For Their Flock At This Time Of Isolation. 

By Alain Emerson

Heavenly Father, you are God, our Maker & we are the sheep of your pasture. Jesus thank-you that you are the Good Shepherd who looks after His sheep, who calls each one by name and leads them. As an ‘under-shepherd’ to the Great Shepherd, in these difficult & unusual days, I want to be faithful to you and to those you have called me to love & serve. I pray, release & entrust them to your all-powerful and tender care & to the word of your grace. Cover them in the shadow of your wings. Hide them in the shelter of your mighty strength. May no evil come near them by day and no terror by night.

Charge your angels to keep watch over them & as you promised encamp yourself around those who fear you. Holy Spirit would you brood over your people with increasing weight & glory. I ask you to satisfy them in deeper ways than ever before. Draw them with loving kindness to the holiness of your beautiful face. May their ‘isolation’ become the place of deep consecration.nRenew their minds, restore their souls, reorder their priorities, revive their hearts. Kindle and refine the fire of you presence inside them. And Lord, as a shepherd called to follow your example of laying down my life for the sheep in a season where I can’t do that the way I would like to nor am I familiar with, I recognize I am dying to my own flesh all over again. I choose now to relinquish control, to lay down my ‘fixer’ identity, to repent of my Messiah complex, to crucify my hero-status.

 

I recognize any genuine love I have for the church comes from you in the first place, so as my shadows are exposed in the light of your grace, I fall into your love once again trusting that you will love your people in the ways only you can. Jesus you are the head of your church & you said you would build it. Do it in these days Lord, for your glory.

Amen.