Here, Together: March 2021

March, already. A year since the fellowship buildings stopped being the primary setting for “church,” and we cobbled together new ways of being with one another. A year since the world first seemed to shift on its axis and everything we thought we knew had to be reinvented. A year of being reminded, way too often, how fragile we are.

 

If we were physically here, together, I’d propose a candle-lighting ritual for this time — a way to mark the anniversary of the pandemic’s arrival by using words, light, silence, and our solemn, shared witness to honor all this year has brought your way. That being impossible, I offer this prayer, and an invitation to all of you to know yourselves held in the light, as the Quakers say.

 

For you who are parents, juggling impossible challenges (and way too many screens) from morning to night, may you know yourselves held in the light.

 

For you who are lonely in these times, may you know yourselves held in the light.

 

For you who have known great losses — your health, your livelihood, the well-being of someone close to you  — may you know yourselves held in the light.

 

For you who live with too much fear — fear of COVID, fear of passing it on to others, fear for the future — may you know yourselves held in the light.

 

For you who are divided from family — by distance, by disagreement over how to live through this time, by the need to keep each other safe — may you know yourselves held in the light.

 

For you who are too much with family, who long for more spaciousness or to reclaim who you were in the “before times,” may you know yourselves held in the light.

 

For you who miss touch, singing together, shared meals and all the other simple human connections, may you know yourselves held in the light.

 

For you who have had to grieve a death or deaths, perhaps without the blessing of a ceremony to mark this person’s life and passing, may you know yourselves held in the light.

 

For you who struggle with injustice and flagrant inequality, may you know yourselves held in the light.

 

For you who have had to give up your power to keep yourself safe in the ways you would choose, may you know yourselves held in the light.

 

For you who have felt “fine” through this time, I honor your journey, too, as being at odds with many of those around you brings its own challenges. May you know yourselves held in the light.

 

For you who have felt unseen, unheard, unloved in this time, may you know yourselves held in the light.

 

And may it be that we, people who hear the call of our interdependence with one another, keep our candles burning for all who need love, witness and affirmation, at this solemn time and in the year ahead.

 

Blessed be, and may it be so.

Rev. Nicoline