Pause for Prayer: SATURDAY 5/18

Photo by Dupont Media World

Last night
my parish held a farewell reception for me
as I prepare, after 25 years of ministry in Concord,
to leave here at the end of the month:
five beautiful hours of love, tears and laughter! 

Photo by Dupont Media World

Greeting more than 550 people, Lord,
I was awash in love, embraced,
over and over again,
by affection and gratitude, held
in the arms of young and old, encircled
by memories and stories of sorrow and joy,
of faith and blessing and grace...

And all of this because you, Lord,
in word and sacrament
you have been at the heart of who we are
as people and pastor
this past quarter of a century...

All of this because it was you, Lord,
who brought us together,
you who spoke the word
to enlighten and guide us,
you who reached out with strength
to mend and heal us,
you whose Spirit filled and lifted
our minds and hearts
with grace and blessing and peace...

Last night, Lord, I was awash in love,
embraced over and over again
by affection and gratitude,
held in the arms of young and old
and all of this, Lord, but a hint,
a taste, a clue, a trace, a whisper
of your everlasting love embracing,
encircling and holding each of us,
each and every one of us,
in your grace, in your mercy
and in your peace...

We bless you, O Lord,
we praise you, our God,
from whom all blessings flow...



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