Summer is over. We return to routines. We leave our separate homes, drive from a variety of neighborhoods towards the same place to share common values, to seek community.
And yet we live different lives, have divergent perspectives, draw from varied experiences. We come together from our diverse circles. We want to worship with others, share religious values, live out God’s mission in the world, but sometimes we join with people whose ways of thinking and acting don’t make sense to us. We grow frustrated, angry, hurt, afraid, disaffected. We are challenged once again by our spiritual community.
God, help us build compassion. Guide us in noticing and valuing other people’s perspectives and concerns.
God help us develop wisdom. Guide us in discerning underlying factors and recognizing unspoken concerns.
God help us learn humility. Guide us in self-reflection, not just to affirm our own strengths but to look at our failings and take responsibility.
God help us to open our hurting hearts wider. Guide us in forgiveness of ourselves, of each other, of the shortcomings of human community.
God help us to cultivate hope. Guide us in choosing creative ways to strive for our spiritual ideals despite our limitations.
God help us live out compassion, wisdom, humility, forgiveness and hope as we return to spiritual community.