Today's prayer is to commemorate the two year anniversary of the pandemic.
Loving God, we come to you this morning as a people humbled by history. We do not believe that you sent the pandemic as a judgement or punishment. However, the pandemic has served as a test of our sense of responsibility towards each other. Many of the fault lines of our society have been laid bare – how much we value the elderly, the poor, and those who are racialized. We recognize that the pandemic has taught us that we have much work to do. We ask for your help to do better, and to recognize our shortcomings.
Loving God, we thank you for your help through this crisis. For the gifts of imagination and courage which allowed people to find new ways to care for each other. For the gift of the internet which kept so many church communities alive at a time when in-person worship was impossible. We thank you for wisdom, and the courage of medical researchers who created effective vaccines in record time. And we give thanks for the love that flows from you which was seen in everyone who willingly wore a mask to protect a stranger, a friend, a family member. When people look back on this period, we hope they will remember that this was a time when each day people honoured your command to love one another as we love ourselves.
We pray for an end to this pandemic, not just here, but around the world. We pray that our nations will help vaccines reach everyone on Earth who wants one. We ask for your help to be better prepared for the next one. May this time of heartache and suffering, death and disease, make us better people, and a better society in the years to come.
And, as we hope to end this pandemic, we say a prayer for the millions in Ukraine who are under siege in an unprovoked, illegal invasion. May your message of love melt hardened hearts, from the Russian soldiers on the ground to their commanders to the leader in Moscow. We pray for this war to stop, for a full withdrawl of Russian troops, and a safe peace to be established.
All this we pray in the name of the one who healed anyone who asked, Jesus the Christ, amen.