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By Rev. Dr. Jean Hawxhurst, Ecumenical Staff Officer, Leadership Development, The Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church

Hebrews 11:1 and 3: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen… By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are not visible.”

Holy and generous God, blessed are you, who created the whole universe out of pure love and joy.  We come before you again today with all that we are, both beautiful and frail.  We are thankful for another day, for breath in our lungs and the warmth of sunshine in the air.  We know all we have is blessing, and all we are is designed to witness to you.  Still, we confess, after so many weeks sheltering at home, we are weary.  We are tired of sitting in front of a computer; we miss hugs and handshakes; and we want to go back to what used to be normal.  All that wanting tempts us to despair, anger and fear.  We confess, knowing apart from you and your strength and grace, we are weak.  So, we ask you to send your Spirit to us anew today.  Pour out your peace on each of your children, all over your world.  Fill us again with strength, and courage, and commitment.  Burn away the fear, and replace it only with you.  Because only in you do we find real hope and the real joy of your creation.  We open ourselves again today to you, with trust and confidence. That is our prayer, and we offer it to you in the name of Jesus the Christ.  Amen.