We are visiting the Pilgrim Place retirement community, and at lunch today, the following prayer was read:
In the celebration of Your incarnation the icons of the season mingle with horrific images like so much flotsam in the wake of Tsunami’s indiscriminate destruction:
Rachels weeping over lifeless bodies of lost children unable to cling to boats and branches; the desperate flight of families rich and poor — each one holy — racing the deadly embrace of waves reaching for this generation’s innocent;
the weak and the vulnerable survivors waiting for food, water, shelter, but even more for some consolation like the ancient survivors Simeon and Anna of old.
Our hearts break, O God, even as our minds resist comprehending the enormity of sorrow spread across southern Asia’s vast beauty and poverty.
Amid so much that is superficial may this grim spectacle of loss prompt us to cling ever more closely to all that is precious in our lives, and may it stir in our oft deadened hearts a great generosity of tears and treasure borne by modern magi moved again by cosmic disruptions, gifts worthy of Your epiphany that can even now render this year’s terrifying season holy. Amen.
— John H. Thomas, President of the United Church of Christ