A prayer by Weber Ivy.
In the Garden of God’s grace, love, hope and joy are always in bloom, through drought and storm, through heat and cold, through ease and adversity, through health and sickness, through success and failure, at the beginning of life and at life’s end.
Father, indeed we rejoice that a summer of prayer and preparation has brought us to the threshold of an autumn of new beginnings, to the birthing of a new community, to the founding of a new outpost of our Father’s house, to the planting of a new garden in a lost wilderness where promise and peril coexist in uneasy balance.
We acknowledge that apart from grace we are neither worthy of this great work nor capable of accomplishing it.
Yet you pour out your riches into our common jars of clay.
Our little lights become the very light of Christ himself when we behold your glory, that we may shine your light into someone’s darkness.
Our five loaves and our two fishes are multiplied many times over, that we may feed a hungry world.
We seem to have so little to offer, yet when we willingly give what we have, then we ourselves become those precious gifts of time, talent and treasure which touch so many hearts and transform so many lives.
Ever since our first parents forfeited their dominion over the earth and were driven from their garden home so long ago, we have always longed to find our way back there.
But the way back is the way forward.
It lies on the road to Bethlehem, to Gethsemane, to Calvary, to the Garden Tomb with its stone rolled away and the angel saying, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here. He is risen!”
The way back is to go into all the world and make disciples, to join the Lord of the harvest in gathering the sheaves, to join him in searching for the lost sheep, and to celebrate with him when he carries them joyfully home on his shoulders.
May Incarnation Anglican Church be that garden of grace, that haven of rest, that place of joyful labor, that beacon of light that dispels the darkness, that messenger which cries out that the night is passing and the day of resurrection is dawning, to its community, to that great city which lies just across the river from it, and to the whole world which has now come to live and work and dream and build on its doorstep. Amen.