By Beth Ferguson, Lay Leader and Member to the Annual Conference.
I was deciding what Psalm to write about today and opened the bible to the Psalms looking for inspiration. I opened to Psalm 90 and decided that writing about God’s time versus our time was very appropriate for this season of waiting.
God has been here since the beginning. God is the creator of all that we see, and God will be here until the end of time. God is forever. The Psalm tells us that “a thousand years is like a day that has just gone by in the sight of the Lord.” The older we get, the more quickly time passes. We have seen a lot of changes in our lives, and lived many days, but none can compare to the time of God.
And here we wait, our days are passing by as we sit separated from one another, many of our lives on hold. We watch the numbers- how many are infected with Covid-19, how many are hospitalized, how many in ICU, and how many have died. We wait. We pray to you that the numbers will begin to decrease. We pray that the death toll will not increase much more.
We pray for the families who wait for their loved ones to begin to improve. We wait for a vaccine or a proven treatment to help. We wait for 14 days of improvement so that some gatherings can begin. We pray that it will happen soon.
We pray for those who are missing the rites of passage- baptisms, weddings, funeral services and graduations. Time continues to pass while we wait.
The Psalm says our lives are 70 years or 80 if we’re strong. We see many people living 90 and 100 years now, but this virus threatens the oldest among us. And so, to protect them, we wait.
The Psalmist says, “Come back to us, Lord! Please, quick! Have some compassion for your servants. Fill us full every morning with your faithful love so we can rejoice and celebrate our whole life long… Let the kindness of the Lord our God be over us.”
And we say, “ Quickly Lord, let this pass by so that we can find our new normal lives.”
A Prayer from the Massachusetts Council of Churches
The Massachusetts Council of Churches along with many interfaith and civic partners invites all people to a daily, intentional, universal common prayer over your town and the Commonwealth at 4:15pm each afternoon. This prayer was written for Christians with broad interfaith participation.
Holy One, Your people know You by many names, we call to You in many languages, hear our common cry:
We praise You that we have breath left to pray and praise. We give thanks that there is reasonable portion of health in our mind and body this day. You wake us up and put us to sleep, and for this day, we give thanks. We pray especially for all who are sick. We pray for all who have no one to pray for them. We pray for those whose names are known to You alone. Heal us, O God: Let this plague pass over, for Your will is health and wholeness, and You long for us to be one.
We pray for our (city/town), and every city and town in this Commonwealth and every place in-between. Cover us, O God. Let this plague pass over, for Your will is health and wholeness, and You long for us to be one.
We pray for our leaders: for ______ our Mayor, Charlie our Governor, the President, our elected and appointed leaders, for all positions of enormous responsibility. Equip and sustain them, Holy One, for the healing of this nation. Guide us, O God: Let this plague pass over, for Your will is health and wholeness, and You long for us to be one.
We pray for all on the front lines, wherever those lines are: in grocery stores, emergency rooms, on our roads and behind our screens. We pray for all who are weary and worried and weep this day. Guard Us, O God: Let this plague pass over, for Your will is health and wholeness, and You long for us to be one.
We pray for ourselves and our people, each community and neighborhood and home, and those without safe place to lay their head. Cover us, with a blessing and protection beyond our comprehension. Hear Us, O God: Let this plague pass over, for Your will is health and wholeness, and You long for us to be one.
Make us One with You and one another, for there is no other way. Make us one city, one Commonwealth, one people. Make us so mindful of the most vulnerable among us that there is no need that we do not bear together. Repair us, O God: Let this plague pass over, for Your will is health and wholeness, and you long for us to be one.
Grant us courage for the living of these days. Give us patience to endure what cannot be avoided. Make us resilient and make us one. Oh God, we long for resurrection. Redeem us, O God: Let this plague pass over, for Your will is health and wholeness, and You long for us to be one.
We know you by many names. I pray in the name of the Great Physician, Jesus the Christ. Alleluia, Amen.