Lord God of our Fathers; God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Lord God of our Mothers; God of Sarah, Leah, and Rebecca; God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ: Open our eyes to see your hand at work in the world about us. Deliver us from the presumption of coming to this Table for solace only, and not for strength; for pardon only, and not renewal. Let the grace of this Holy Communion make us one body, one spirit in Christ, that we may worthily serve the world in his name.
Risen Lord, be known to us in the breaking of the Bread.
[Prayer C, Book of Common Prayer. For full prayer, click “prayer C” above.]
Do I have eyes to see the hand of God at work in the world around me? With everything wrong and negative, everything harmful and hurtful reported with detail and (sometimes) relish, it’s easy to miss the good, gracious, and holy that surround me. If I don’t ask for eyes to see, will I miss it? If I miss it, how many will I encourage to miss it as well?
There’s a difference between knee-jerk optimism and a hope and joy that nourishes the soul. The first is dependent on things going well (or on denying when things aren’t going well), the second is laying claim to the presence of God in this creation, whatever the circumstances. Blessing and grace are everywhere, but they aren’t always immediately obvious and they come in unexpected forms and by unexpected paths. That makes sense, though. God is constant but not predictable: wouldn’t God-given blessings be the same?
When my eyes are open to God’s handiwork, I will find solace for my grief and strength to make of it something good. I will admit my mistakes and seek forgiveness; my life will be renewed so that I don’t make the same hurtful mistakes in the future.
What a marvelous truth, what a gracious life is offered to me and everyone else. How can I be anything but grateful?