So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by our letter. Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and through grace gave us eternal comfort and good hope, comfort your hearts and strengthen them in every good work and word. – 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 (NRSV)
Even in this moment of our apartness, we gather as a people of God, drawn together in faith. Perhaps our individuality is uncomfortably stark as we find ourselves alone. Maybe we are sharing a space with those who are closest to us and we behold them with greater depth. As diverse as we are, we rejoice in good hope together. Even when the crevices of life challenge our faith, the goodness of hope nurtures us. Our faith finds a way to pull God’s nourishment from even the most challenging cracks in the security of this world.
(If you are sharing space with someone, you might consider praying these words in a litany fashion.)
As we open our lives to your nourishing power, O God, may we recognize the joy and peace you offer.
May the goodness of hope guide our thoughts.
As we strive to find ways to serve the world you have made, O God, lead us to compassion that transcends distances.
May the goodness of hope guide our service.
Help us, O God, to remember the many who are in need, that they will not be forgotten.
May the goodness of hope drive our mercy and benevolence.
O God, may our discipleship be lifted from our aloneness to new heights, as we redefine the Christlike patterns of our lives.
May the goodness of hope reflect Jesus Christ in us.
As we pray as one people in spirit, O God, empower us to be a living church.
May the goodness of hope give us strength and comfort as a people of faith. Amen.
~Mike Fike, BWCOB Member