Receive our offering this morning, God. Some of us have brought costly gifts for your use. Some of us have brought open hearts, curious minds, prayerful spirits, or dedicated hands and feet to place before you and offer in your service. We ask that you take whatever we can give, and use our gifts for a purpose worthy of us, as your church.
Today we recall with gratitude the many individuals who rose to the occasion, when called by outer circumstance and by inner character, to serve others with empathy and commitment. Sometimes these servants and heroes have become household names, saints well-known and well-acknowledged. But we know, too, that there have been many unsung heroes who have cared widely, deeply, in costly and meaningful ways, and whose gifts and sacrifices for others’ sake may have gone unnoticed and unremarked. We ask that you, by your loving grace, may find a way to convey the age-old blessing of thanks to these people… “Well done, good and faithful servant!”
Because ultimately, we, too, wish to hear such an accolade from you, God. We, too, wish to know that when an occasion of difficulty is placed before us, we will not succumb to discouragement or anxiety or self-absorption, but will open our hearts and hands – get to work in ways that will please you. We pray we will then recognize that just perhaps, we have been put in that very place, for just such a moment.
The stories told about you and your people throughout history do teach us of power and promise inherent in our lives. Potential exists in every minute and in every one of us. Help us to see our own – and to act upon it, acknowledging that we may be braver, stronger, and smarter than we knew, and that perhaps we will find this very day the issue we were meant to address, the hardship we were meant to alleviate, the person we were meant to uplift, the barrenness we were meant to make fruitful, the burden we were meant to remove. Help us to see today those places and people we alone stand uniquely prepared to touch and change with our gifts. And let us do so with the same self-giving assurance as the one we follow and call our messiah. We pray in his memory, with joy and pride at being his own people. And using his words, we say together now… Lord’s Prayer.