a prayer of blessing after psalm 121
We lift up our eyes to the hills—
the hill upon which Christ died,
the hill from where Christ ascended,
the hill where he was transfigured—
and we look for help.
Oh, how we need your help, Lord.
Our hearts are splintered, divided, aching.
Our feet are unsteady, bruised, and swollen.
Our minds are small and proud but taxed beyond belief.
Our mouths—full of the metallic tang of bitterness,
Our spines—crumpled under the weight of loads we can hardly identify.
We need you.
Do not hide your face from us.
We look to you,
to the one whose foundation is surer than the mountains,
to the Son who promises to send his Spirit,
to the Spirit who has already come.
We pray for your peace,
the peace that is not of this world.
We pray for that extraordinary peace
to slip into our troubled hearts, almost unnoticed,
and still the frantic beating.
We pray that Spirit of peace
over new staff and faculty who are getting their bearings,
over those returning, already pummeled by work,
over freshmen and transfer students, eager and nervous,
over parents and siblings as they adjust,
and especially over those whose summers have been turbulent,
marked by death,
by trials unexpected.
We pray your peace over the institution of Hope College,
over the complex systems that make this place a place of hope,
over the classrooms, the curriculum,
the cottages and dorms,
over every last inch of this campus.
Though you, Christ, have ascended,
you have not left us alone,
thanks be to God.
You are our keeper,
thanks be to God.
You keep our lives.
You keep our going out,
and our coming in.
We look to you
to keep this place,
to keep these people.
Send forth your Spirit,
and claim it all as yours.
In the name of Jesus Christ,
who lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever,