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.
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Diana is a follower of Jesus, wife of 50-years to Richard, mom of three grown kids, MIL of three amazing bonus kids, and Nana of eight, who fills her days with delight. She has been a stay-at-home mom, a small business owner, and a seminary student in mid-life, answering a call to ministry while there. After 17 years, she retired, and is now 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.