Prayer Power

On October 28, 2018, in Sunshine Cathedral, by Rev.Dr. Robert

Prayer Power Rev. Dr. Durrell Watkins Let us dwell together in peace, and let us not be instruments of our own or others’ oppression; and now, may God’s word be spoken, may only God’s word be heard. Amen. When I was young, a priest told me, “To try to pray is to pray.” I believe […]

Prayer Power
Rev. Dr. Durrell Watkins

Let us dwell together in peace, and let us not be instruments of our own or others’ oppression; and now, may God’s word be spoken, may only God’s word be heard. Amen.

When I was young, a priest told me, “To try to pray is to pray.” I believe that still. Any effort to turn godward is an act of prayer. Any loving thought, any positive wish, any feeling of gratitude, any intentional effort to consciously experience a deeper reality, any affirmation of possibilities is, in fact, prayer.

There are lots of forms of prayer. Lots of techniques and formulas.

There is centering prayer (which is sitting in the Silence simply focusing on the divine presence)…it’s one of my favorite forms.
There is Lectio Divina, which is a way of meditating on scripture.
There are mantras, repeating sacred texts and phrases over and over.
There are prayers we read or have learned by heart.

There is chanting, and there are the prayers we sing.
There is praise and thanksgiving.
There is visualization where we imagine things as they could be, and trust that God can make our vision become a reality.

There are many ways to pray…
But the most effective prayers tend to share some things in common, and that’s what Jesus is teaching us today in the gospel.

He isn’t saying we have to pray these exact phrases, or that we have to abandon any other form of prayer…he’s saying, when you pray, however you pray, keep a few things in mind.

1. Acknowledge the divine presence.
“There’s not a spot where God is not.” God is the all-in-all.
God is the Life living through us,
the Wisdom that guides us,
the Love that connects us,
the Power that energizes us,
and the very Substance from which we are made.
God as omnipresence must be right here. So right now is the perfect time to pray.

The first step is to acknowledge the presence of a power.
Dear God.
Abba.
Father-Mother God.
Spirit of Life.
Holy One.
Universal Presence.
Higher Power.
Inward Light.
God of many names, mystery beyond our naming.

Pick a name. It can be Alice or Bozo or Dippity-Do…but let it resonate in your heart, something that speaks to possibilities and love and hope and joy.
Because if you can at least imagine that there is a power, and that the power is always near, THEN you can plug into the power and let it flow in your life. Acknowledge the divine presence.

2. Trust that the divine presence is good.
It’s great for there to be a power or a presence, but it’s really only good news if the power is good.

Abba, hallowed be your name is really saying, “God, not only are you here with me, but I know you are all good.”

To refer to someone’s name in scripture is to say something about the person’s nature.
To pray in the name of Jesus is to pray in the nature of Jesus (which he’s showing us how to do today).
To do something in the name of God is to do it in the nature of God.

To say hallowed is your name means, “Your nature is good, and you always act according to your nature.”

There is only one Presence and one Power in the universe, God the Good omnipotent.

So far, Jesus has told us:
God is.
God is present.
And God is good.

Jesus tells us to start our prayers with the awareness that God is,
And that if God is, then God is everywhere fully present (omnipresent),
And that’s good news because God is all good and only good.

He isn’t telling us what to say so much as he is helping us develop the consciousness that will make any kind of prayer more impactful.

3. Ask for what is highest and best.
If God is, and God is good, then when we ask God for our good we are asking for God’s own goodness to be manifest in our experience. And God’s goodness must be what is highest and best.

Your kingdom come, your kin-dom come, your realm come.
What is God’s realm? Heaven.
Where is heaven? It’s where God is.
Where is God? EVERYWHERE.

So, wherever I am, God is.
Wherever God is, is heaven.
And Heaven is infinite goodness.

Jesus said God’s realm was at hand…it’s in our hands. Prayer helps us see and seize the good that has always been meant for us, the good that is even now at hand.

When we ask for something good, and we are open to it or to something even better, we are saying,
May God’s heaven show up in and as my life.

Heaven is joy. Heaven is peace. Heaven is harmony. Heaven is sufficiency and supply. Heaven is highest and best.

Your realm come…Your Good be made manifest in my life.
What could be better than that?

4. It’s not all about you.
What we wish for ourselves, we should wish for all people.
That is, we want to be happy, healthy, loved, safe, fulfilled, prosperous.
And we ought to want those same blessings for everyone.
Justice is never for just-us.

And so, our prayers aren’t to just have a genie grant our desires or to have Santa bring us our wished for goodies…rather, prayer is how we plug into the omnipresence, the one power, and let it flow through us to bless us and others.

We want everyone to enjoy every freedom, every right, every opportunity, every miracle that we have dared to hope for ourselves.
Give us our daily bread. Not just me…everyone.
Forgive us when we miss the mark. Not just me…all of us. We’ve all fallen short of our highest ideals; heal us all. Help us all be our best.
Save us from trying times…not just me…everyone. Save me from being slandered, and save her from unemployment, and save him from domestic abuse, and save them from the violence they are fleeing, save everyone who needs medical care, and save us all from bigotry, hatred, and irrational fears.
It’s not just about you, or me…it’s about us…ALL of us.

Dear God,
You are everywhere present and you are all Good.
And so I ask for your goodness to be made manifest in my life, and not just mine, but in every life.

Jesus connected with God intimately, directly. He knew God was closer than his next breath, and so he could commune with God fully, instantly.
He was so plugged into God that he could remain calm during a storm.
He could try to feed people when there wasn’t really much food.
He could encourage the physically and mentally ill.
He could forgive his tormentors.
He could speak truth to power.
He could affirm the sacred value of all people.

How could he do that? How could he be that plugged into God?
Probably, his prayer life had something to do with it.

So, his disciples said, “Lord, teach us to pray the way you pray.”
And Jesus answered:
Acknowledge the divine presence.
Trust its goodness.
Ask for what is highest and best.
And also want the best for everyone.

A short phrase that covers those bases might be: God is all and all is well.

But sometimes, we need to get there. We need a few steps.
So, Jesus modeled prayer by saying:
Abba, hallowed is your name. Your realm come. Give us all each day our daily bread. And forgive us all for missing the mark, and help us be forgiving when others make mistakes. And save us all from times of trial. Amen.

I hope when we pray that same prayer later in the service, you hear it more deeply, you feel it more deeply, you find yourself connecting with God more profoundly. I hope that using the words of the song, your consciousness hears, “God is all, and all is well.”

And so it is. And this is the good news.

Dear God,
You are everywhere present,
and you are all Good.
And so I ask for your goodness …
to be made manifest in my life,
and not just mine, but in every life.
Amen.

Always Another Chance

On October 22, 2018, in Sunshine Cathedral, by Rev.Dr. Robert

Always Another Chance Rev. Dr. Durrell Watkins Let us dwell together in peace, and let us not be instruments of our own or others’ oppression; and now, may God’s word be spoken, may only God’s word be heard. Amen. 2 Sam 11. 1-5: One evening King David rose from his bed and strolled about on […]

Always Another Chance
Rev. Dr. Durrell Watkins

Let us dwell together in peace, and let us not be instruments of our own or others’ oppression; and now, may God’s word be spoken, may only God’s word be heard. Amen.

2 Sam 11. 1-5: One evening King David rose from his bed and strolled about on the roof of the his house. From the roof he saw a woman bathing; she was very beautiful. David sent people to inquire about the woman and was told, “She is Bathsheba, daughter of Eliam, and wife of Uriah the Hittite, Joab’s armor-bearer.” Then David sent messengers and took her. When she came to him, he took her to bed, at a time when she was just purified after her period; and she returned to her house. But the woman had become pregnant; she sent a message to inform David, “I am pregnant.”

Well, that’s bad news. Bathsheba, otherwise known as Mrs. Uriah, is pregnant, but her husband has been away at war. So, it ain’t his.
So David sends for Uriah to have him bring a report on the war, and after getting the report, he tells Uriah to go home and get some rest before going back to the front. Of course, he hopes Uriah and Bathsheba will have a romantic reunion, and Uriah will think the child that will come in 9 months is his.

But Uriah disobeys the king! He doesn’t feel right enjoying the comforts of home and hearth while others are fighting. So instead of going home, he sets up camp at the door of the king’s house. This completely messes up David’s plan.

David, then, goes to plan B. He sends Uriah back into battle, and arranges for him to be stranded alone in the fighting. Of course, Uriah is killed in battle.

David allows a brief time of mourning for Bathsheba, and then he marries her, thus covering his indiscretion. It now looks like he has given a home to a widow, and then within the bonds of marriage, they will have a child. Problem solved. Except, the chapter concludes with this sentence, “In the sight of the LORD, what David had done was evil.”

That leads right into chapter 12, part of which you heard this morning.

The Prophet Nathan comes to the king and spins a yarn about someone who stole a man’s cherished pet and used her in heartbreaking ways. And the king is infuriated, saying, “bring this wretch to me. He’ll pay for his cruelty.” And Nathan says, “Um, it’s you.”

This is one of the most horrific stories in scripture.
David is a war hero, a religious person, and a leader. Luke, in Acts 13, says David was lifted up to a position of authority because he was a person after God’s own heart, committed to the will of God.

Now, the pure heart didn’t keep him from having a bit of mean streak. I mean, he paid a dowry for his first wife, and the dowry was the foreskins of 200 Philistines. As Big Mama used to say, “that boy ain’t right.”

But he had been brave, standing up to Goliath.
David had been kind, marrying the widow Abigale when she was alone. Of course, David had at least 8 wives…so, you know, biblical marriage.

David had been tender, showing devotion and love to Jonathan, making a life long covenant with him, declaring in song that his love for Jonathan surpassed his love for women. Yes, David is the most clearly bisexual person in scripture…though Jesus in my view is a close second (but that’s another sermon).

David had shown his good heart…showing love, keeping promises, exhibiting courage, being generous…but David could forget his innate goodness. Even David, ancestor of Jesus, could ignore his better angels, miss the mark, and hide his inward light.

His treatment of Bathsheba and Uriah was not godly, not descent, not moral; it was reprehensible.

David was the king. Bathsheba couldn’t refuse his summons. She couldn’t refuse him anything. She didn’t have the wherewithal to withhold consent. And so when the king sends for her…She wasn’t asked what she wanted. Bathsheba is a victim of a powerful man. This wasn’t an affair. This wasn’t adultery. This was an act of violence.

Then, when Bathsheba was pregnant and that could expose David’s sexual abuse, David arranges to have Uriah murdered.

David has a good heart. But he has gotten caught up in his privilege and power; he has made idols of them. And by worshiping the false gods of class privilege and political power he has destroyed innocent lives.
When he lost his compassion, when he lost his empathy…he lost touch with his goodness. It is a terrible thing when we forget our goodness. If we don’t see it, we won’t show it.

But that’s not the end of the story. Here comes Nathan. Here comes the preacher. Here comes the moral imperative to speak truth to power. Here comes the prophet Nathan to hold the king accountable.

In a way, Nathan is clumsy with it, showing you don’t have to be brilliant or eloquent…you just have to do your best in service of justice and healing.

Nathan compares sexual assault and murder to the mistreatment of a beloved pet. It’s not a great comparison. But it did demonstrate cruelty and abuse of power, and it stirred David to outrage. And then, clumsy but courageous Nathan goes for the jugular: The monster in the story is YOU!

Nathan could have been fired as court prophet. Might have been jailed. Could have been made chaplain to the warriors on the front line. He took a risk by holding the king accountable. But to remain silent would have been to be complicit. And so the person of faith holds the most politically powerful person in the land accountable for his cruelty. May it ever be so.

This is a text of terror. A story of violence, betrayal, and murder. We need this story to keep us from making an idol of the text. We need to see human fragility and human cruelty and human ignorance as part of our sacred texts so that we will not dare make an idol of the book. And to see, that even with our innate purity, we can mistakenly choose lesser gods, and fall short of our highest ideals. We can also repent and get back on track.

There is healing in the story. The healing doesn’t justify a single terrible deed, but it does show that pain need not get the last word. The child that resulted from Bathsheba’s nightmare would become king (Solomon). She who was once powerless would become mother of the powerful. David was confronted by the prophet and presumably tried to turn back to the light and seek redemption and healing for himself.

Here’s the word of hope for us today: healing is possible.
The past is past and the future has infinite possibilities.

If we regret past mistakes, GOOD…that means we know that wasn’t our best, and we’ll never do that again.
If we fell short of our highest ideals and we regret that, GOOD…that means we’ll care more and love more from now on.
If we wish we had handled things better, GOOD…maybe next time, we will.

We can make amends.
We can start over.
We can do better.
We can be healers in our world, even if that means helping to heal some of the wounds we’ve caused.

I’m making no excuses for my misdeeds, or for yours, or for anyone else’s. What I am saying is that healing is still possible. We can learn, we can heal, we can be healers, we can rise above the pain of the past.

God gave you a pure heart…and there’s always another chance to remember that and to live in the joy of that truth.

That’s why I remind us every single week: We are God’s miracle and not God’s mistake.
We make mistakes. We regret our mistakes. We work to recover from our mistakes. But who we are…that’s not a mistake. We are people after God’s own heart. When we remember that, we live like it, and that’s where healing beings. And this is the good news. Amen.

The past is past and the future has infinite possibilities.
I am God’s miracle and not God’s mistake.
God’s healing grace is at work in me.
And so it is.

Resisting Temptation

On October 15, 2018, in Sunshine Cathedral, by Rev.Dr. Robert

Resisting Temptation Rev. Dr. Durrell Watkins Let us dwell together in peace, and may we not be instruments of our own or others’ oppression; and now, may God’s word be spoken, may only God’s word be heard. Amen. Jesus in wilderness for 40 days/40 nights… Idiom = long time…period of challenge that leads to breakthrough […]

Resisting Temptation
Rev. Dr. Durrell Watkins

Let us dwell together in peace, and may we not be instruments of our own or others’ oppression; and now, may God’s word be spoken, may only God’s word be heard. Amen.

Jesus in wilderness for 40 days/40 nights…
Idiom = long time…period of challenge that leads to breakthrough or achievement or relief. It’s not a literal 40 days necessarily. It could be a shorter or even longer period of time. It just means a long time.
40 days rain (Gen 7)
Moses sent spies to explore Canaan for 40 days
Kings reigned for 40 years
Goliath challenged Israelites for 40 days
Moses spent 40 days on Mount Sinai
Elijah spent 40 days walking
Jonah gave Nineveh 40 days warning

Used over and over to signify a time of working through something, sorting things out, or waiting for things to improve The wait may be long, but and the temptation may be to give up, but don’t give up. It’s worth the wait.

Temptation to doubt his sacred value: If you are God’s child…
Most of our fears come from a mistaken belief that we could ever be separated from God. But that isn’t possible. Remember, there’s not a spot where God is not.

Jesus is then tempted to break his fast (spiritual practice)…
Temptation says:
Give up your spiritual discipline.
Give up making time every day for prayer and meditation.
Give up studying the scriptures.
Give up making weekly worship a priority.
Give up worshiping with your tithes.
Give up practicing affirmations.
Give up your spiritual practices.

But Don’t give them up! They will sustain you. They will carry you when you’re too tired or hurt to carry yourself.

Temptation quoted scripture at Jesus to manipulate, shame, and hurt him. The texts weren’t misquoted, they were just misused.
Don’t fall for it!

“What if they’re right”(the people using scripture to shame or intimidate us)?
They’re not. When people use scripture as a weapon to tear you down they are using it demonically. Don’t buy it!

Jesus was then tempted to ignore his values:
To Give up on justice for all.
To Give up on caring for the least of these.
To Give up on equality and fairness.
To Give up on compassion and generosity.
To Ditch it all for personal gain, privilege, and power.

Don’t do it! Don’t give away your soul, your light, your beauty. don’t believe the lie that there isn’t enough for all of us. Yes, we deserve the best; we ALL deserve the best. We don’t have to cheat anyone to have enough. We don’t have turn away from the struggling to have enough. There is enough to satisfy every person’s need, though, perhaps, not enough to satisfy every person’s greed.

Jesus resisted temptation.
He denied that the temptations, the fears, the sense of notenoughness had any power over him. And he affirmed his truth in the wake of the denials. And angels came and ministered to him.

40…the trials may seem long…don’t give up. The rains may come, but the waters will eventually subside.
The journey may be winding, and you may feel lost along the way, but you will eventually get to a land full of promise.
You may be stuck on a mountain, but mountaintops provide a great view.
The giants may torment you for a long time, but their day will come…the bigger they are, the harder they fall.
Resist the temptation to give up too soon!

Resist the temptation to doubt your sacred value.
You are part and parcel of God. You are God’s miracle and not God’s mistake. You are part of the creation that God calls very good.
Resist the temptation to doubt your innate goodness.
God is omnipresent, so I am in and part of God’s presence, so I share in the goodness of God. I am a child of God and divine joy is my inheritance.

And don’t phone in your faith.
Church isn’t just for holidays or when you don’t find anything better to do.
Spiritual texts aren’t just background noise in a worship service. Prayer isn’t just grace at holiday dinners. Tithing isn’t spare change.

Commit to your spiritual practices and never let anyone or anything take them from you. They will lead you to deeper trust in God and that trust will lift you up when circumstances have brought you low.

Resist the temptation to ignore your faith practices. They really can lead to miracles.

Resist the temptation to let religion be used against you.
If someone’s religion is about condemning, shaming, controlling, or excluding others, it is misunderstood, misapplied, and misanthropic. No matter who’s selling it, don’t buy it.

Choose instead spiritual views that are uplifting, compassionate, generous, loving, and healing. When people sling religious crap at you,
affirm: I am covered in spiritual teflon; BS just slides right off!

And finally, resist the temptation to give up your hopes.
In our idealistic, optimistic days, we believed that peace was possible, that equal opportunity was our birthright, that equal protection was possible, that we could save the world. We could care for the environment and speak up for the voiceless. We believed the pen was mightier than the sword and that love would win. We believed that the moral arc of the universe was long but it bends toward justice. We knew in our hearts that God is love and divine love leaves no one out.

Sometimes, we are tempted to think that is all terribly naive. Hate seems to be racking up more points these days. Violence is ignored or even rewarded. Rights aren’t always guaranteed and sometimes are even under attack. When the vision is fading, recommit to it. Don’t let the dream disappear. The will to power, oppression, injustice, marginalization of entire communities…those goblins may have their day, but they cannot take our vision of God’s kin-dom away from us.

When things are better, Alleluia! And when they are going in the wrong direction, God give us courage to lift up the dream and breathe new life into it.

Have you been tempted to become pessimistic?
Have you been tempted to disengage?
Have you been tempted to accept something less than God’s best?
Have you been tempted to accept injustice and cruelty in the world?
Have you been tempted to give up hope for your own personal need.

In Jesus’ name, I ask you to resist those temptations, and if you will continue to resist them, I promise there are angels on the way to minister to you. And this is the good news. Amen.

Fear has no power over me.
I am God’s child!
I am forever blessed.
The angels of God’s presence come to my aid.
And I reject any thought to the contrary.
Alleluia!
Amen.

Soaring with the Eagles

On October 8, 2018, in Sunshine Cathedral, by Rev.Dr. Robert

Soaring with the Eagles Rev. Dr. Durrell Watkins Let us dwell together in peace, and let us not be instruments of our own or others’ oppression. And now, may God’s word be spoken, may only God’s word be heard. Amen. 20 years ago I walked up on a tiny bird guarding her nest and eggs. […]

Soaring with the Eagles
Rev. Dr. Durrell Watkins

Let us dwell together in peace, and let us not be instruments of our own or others’ oppression. And now, may God’s word be spoken, may only God’s word be heard. Amen.

20 years ago I walked up on a tiny bird guarding her nest and eggs. She had set up house on the front lawn of the church, and I just walked up to check it out. This tiny little bird let me know unequivocally that I was not welcome near her home. She spread her little blue wings out and cursed me out in bird language. She was ready to take me on!

I was no threat, of course, but she wasn’t taking any chances. She was ready to give everything in defense of that nest and its inhabitants. That’s how much God loves us. Like a mother bird hovering over, caring for, protecting her young.

God is love, and love loves. Love gives what it is. God is love, and divine love is perfect love, a love that casts out fear, a love that rejects no one for any reason.

That may be a comfort for us today.
This has been an anxious couple of weeks for a lot of people. Old wounds in people’s lives have been reopened. Feelings have been triggered. People have witnessed privilege and patriarchy strike with typical brutal force. And some of us are tired, and heartbroken, and afraid.

But I can tell you this: Nothing that has transpired in the halls of power has or ever will change this truth: You are the apple of God’s eye and God will forever bear you up on eagle’s wings.

The pugnacious power of putrid patriarchy time and again ignores the pain that it perpetuates.

And so, we keep working and waiting and hoping and praying and loving. Let us become more determined than ever to keep Jesus’ dream alive. Let us pray with the angels, “Peace on earth; goodwill toward all people.”

In the gospel of Luke, people come to Jesus to warn him that Herod wants to kill him. The kingdom, the empire, the patriarchy, the status quo, the power keepers are not on board with Jesus’ mission of lifting up the downtrodden and healing the heartbroken and affirming the marginalized. And word on the street is Herod is coming for Jesus, but Jesus says, “You tell that old fox, Herod, that I will keep on driving out demons and healing the sick today, tomorrow, and the day after that” (Luke 13.32).

The pendulum swings. There is good news and bad news; there are hills and valleys, seasons of rain and seasons of drought: but somebody can tell patriarchy that come what may, we will keep on confronting diabolical injustice and we will keep giving hope to the hurting and we’re going to do it this year, and next year, and the year after that!

People still heartbroken from Pulse and from school shootings…here, we see you and we grieve with you.

You who were told by religion that you were broken or damaged…here, we see you and we see you as whole and beautiful and innately good.

Those who realize you are more likely to be killed, incarcerated, or discriminated against because of your race…here, we see you and we declare boldly that your lives matter.

Same-gender loving people who waited a lifetime to marry the person you love…here, we see you and we affirm your union and your love always.

Transgender friends, please forgive us for waiting so long to try to hear your stories and understand your struggles…but here, now, we see you and we bless you and we thank God for who you are.

Caribbean neighbors who have been dislocated by brutal storms followed by deadly apathy…here, we see you and we embrace you with open arms.

Women who have found the world too often to be an unsafe place…here, we see you and we hear you and we believe you.

Jesus was in a desert right before he kicked off his ministry. And while he was in the desert, he was tempted. He was tempted to give in to fear, to greed, to despair, to short cuts and cheating and selfishness. Why should he emerge from a desert only to confront empire and wind up with his butt in a sling. There must be easier, more self-gratifying paths to take!

And so temptation came. The first was to abandon his fast. Abandon his spiritual practice. In the end, he refused to relinquish his soul nourishing spiritual practices.

The second temptation was to hurt himself. Why abuse yourself in a misguided attempt to prove that God loves you. That’s twisted thinking. It’s also all too common. Jesus, thankfully, didn’t give in to that temptation either.

The third temptation was the most insidious. The final temptation was that Jesus considered the kingdoms and fortunes of the world. He thought about the benefits of power and privilege and patriarchy. And temptation said, “you can have it all if you worship me.”
If you worship power rather than sharing empowerment, if you tolerate oppression instead of seeking liberation, if you adore hierarchy rather than equanimity, if you embrace an unfettered will to power you can have it all…others may be get hurt or left behind, but you can come out on top.

And Jesus remembered this phrase from the Torah: “Pay homage to god only. God alone is who you must serve.”
There is only one presence and one power in the universe and in me: God the good, God the good, God the good omnipotent.

God the good. God who is love. God who is omnipresence and includes all life. God who is the substance of the whole world. That’s what we worship, and that worship demands justice and generosity and compassion and caring.

Power and privilege and turning his back on those who have been denied justice is not what Jesus was about! So he said, “Get away from me Satan!”
Get away from me temptation to value my own privilege over justice for all.

Jesus wouldn’t reject the hurting, the abused, the victimized, the poor, the sick, the refugee. He wouldn’t abandon those already left in the margins. He could have, and he could have benefitted from the systems of patriarchy, but to that he said, “Get away from me Satan.”
He didn’t change the systems. He didn’t defeat the systems. But he chose to confront them when he could. It cost him his life, but it gave hope and joy to countless other lives.

And so it is that he soared from that desert experience and began a ministry that changed lives and changes lives still.

We may feel like we’re in a desert, but we’re not alone. We’re together. Always together. And when we have one another, even desert sands can become an ocean of hope and empowerment.

With Jesus, we can be mount up on eagles’ wings, our strength can be renewed, we can find ourselves being carried on currents of divine grace today, and we can say no to the temptation to give in to despair, and we can move forward continuing to tell every person who has been wounded, “YOU ARE GOD’S MIRACLE AND NOT GOD’S MISTAKE.”

Friends, “let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” God will sustain us in the desert and care for us; God will guard us as the apple of God’s own eye. As an eagle hovers over her young, covering them with her wings, and bears them up…So God does care for us. And, as we are God’s hands, let us care for one another…in the name of God: Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer. Amen.

Heal me deeply, O God.
Fill me with peace, hope, and joy.
I receive your blessings with gratitude.
And I share them gladly.
Alleluia!
Amen.

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