Coming out of a powerful sermon from Jeremiah 29, preached by Pastor Jon Lemmond.
Lord Almighty, you are our God in the midst of life —
in good times and in hard times,
in beauty and in disarray,
in success and in failure,
in life and in death.
Thank you that you know our names,
that you care about our story,
and that you invite us to make our home in you.
Thank you most of all, on this day,
that you take the broken pieces of our hearts
and weave them together to make art,
in ways we cannot now imagine.
Even so, Lord, empower our imaginations —
give us glimpses of the possible,
even when everything around us feels decidedly the opposite.
And help us to begin . . . always, to begin . . . with gratitude.
Thank you for today,
for safety through the storm,
for comfort in grief,
for inspiration from the Word.
Thank you for friends,
for beautiful spaces in which to sit,
for music that stirs our hearts and lifts our spirits.
Thank you for faithful leaders who try to listen well
to the movement of your Spirit and who hang onto you
when it gets murky out there.
Thank you for gray heads, and newborn baby heads,
for the laughter of children, and the tears of caring adults,
for the sturdy curiosity of adolescents,
and for the burgeoning maturity of college students.
Thank you for the community we enjoy today,
in the here and now, and for the communion of saints,
all those who have moved ahead of us to life eternal.
Special thanks today for the multiple beauties
of divine and human creation
all around us in this beat-up-but-not-defeated
place we call home.
O God of the Broken Beautiful,
You take the most common, ordinary things and transform them
into nourishment for body and soul.
Thank you for feeding us well.
We began with gratitude, Lord,
but we need to also make space for lament today.
Our hearts are broken,
We are people who always hold some kind of pain,
even as we smile and nod.
For some, the pain comes from the loss of loved ones;
for some, it comes from dealing with our own illness.
For others, it is job loss or financial insecurity,
or troubled relationships.
Many of us wrestle with hard questions about
faith or about the future.
Help us to rest in your healing power and in your forgiveness.
Teach us the truth of Jeremiah — that there is life to be lived,
there is beauty to be found,
even though we may feel overwhelmed, defeated or abandoned.
Even in exile, you are here, the God who can be found.
Help us, dear God, to make our home in you.
DIANA TRAUTWEIN is a follower of Jesus, wife to Richard, a remarkably patient and funny man, who has made her life interesting and rich for 50 years, mom to 3 grown kids – two daughters, who are special ed teachers for blind students; one son, who is a physician, MIL to 3 amazing bonus kids, and Nana to 8, who fill her days with delight.
Diana was a stay-at-home mom job for over 20 years, owned a small floral business for seven years, beginning with one daughter’s wedding and closing with the other’s, went to seminary at mid-life and answered a call to ministry while there. She retired after 17 years in two churches in an associate role, and is currently a certified spiritual director.
Diana is continually surprised by grace, challenged by the Mystery, warmed by the Spirit, and grateful for the gifts of life, both the beautiful and the difficult. Connect with her at DianaTrautwein.com.