Fabric of Fellowship Prayer

Pastoral Prayer
Broadway Baptist Church
July 12, 2015
Rev. Chris Caldwell

Loving God, we thank you for the tapestry you have created in this church.
We are your fabric of the old adjusting to walkers,
And the young adjusting to walking,
The old cherishing past memories,
And the young discovering new words.

We are extroverts shaking hands,
And introverts guarding space,
Thinkers taking it all in,
And feelers letting it all out.

We are excited by all the future brings,
And worried by all the past might be losing,
We are champions of the new,
And guardians of the old.

And we have found in this church something wonderful in this mix.
In the fellowship of this panoply you have made Broadway
We find something something as comforting as an old family quilt.
And so we thank you for this patchwork of kindness and love.

Yet we live in a frayed culture,
We live in a nation whose seams seem too much stretched.
We turn to the news and see video of people screaming at each other.
We listen to politicians, or worse yet, to the ads produced by their allies, 
And we are told their opponents are not just wrong, but that they are somehow inhuman or unAmerican.

Which is why we are glad we remember in this sanctuary things many have forgotten.
We know that, if your friend hugs you at the funeral home visitation, it doesn’t matter if they are a Republican or a Democrat.
We know that, if someone tells you they are praying for you, it doesn’t matter if they are liberal or conservative.
We know that, if the person who sits on the pew with us, or sings in the choir with us, has lost their job, the pain of the loss is the same, be they male or female, gay or straight, fifth generation Kentuckian or first generation American.
We know that if a child is sick, and a Christian friend brings a meal to our home, it doesn’t matter if their vote will cancel out our vote come November.

Yet even as we are blessed by the fabric of this warm fellowship, help us not to take it for granted.
Help us to see that the fault lines of mindless mistrust and easy aspersions can threaten the foundation of this sanctuary.
In short, Lord, remind us, here in this place, 
that love must trump conformity,
that patience must outweigh agreement,
that the desire to serve you together must surpass the desire to convert each other.

O God, grant me, and grant us all, the wisdom and the passion required to be good stewards of this fellowship.
Bind our hearts together in a shared promise to love each other without having to agree with each other.
Help us to show each other the love you have shown us in your son,
A love that is not earned, but granted
A love not based on staying on the balance beam of others’ expectations,
But based on kneeling together at the foot of the cross,
Where we are all sinners,
Where we are all trying to figure it out,
Where we are all trying to do the best we can,
And where we can--thanks be to you, O God--cut each other some slack.

Thank you for the gift of this church,
Help us to treasure it
And help those new to this place to see, this might just be a place worthy of making a spiritual home.