Gracious and Faithful God,
Here we are at this table again--this imperfect assembly of ragamuffins called family--gathered together in the name of gratitude. For some of us, this table means excitement and joyful reunion. For others, this table means anxiety and fear. But we gather together no matter what because it is good to be together, to remember that there is a place we belong and a people who will always take us in.
Considering the year since we last gathered here, God, we thank you for the joys and for the sorrows, for the hellos and the goodbyes, for the new hopes and the lingering fears, for the mountaintops and the valleys, for the sweet and the bitter. We are grateful for it all, God, because you are with us in it. Your faithful presence comforts. You hold our hands and gently lead us. So we circle back to this table to say thank you once again. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
And even as we gather with hearts full of gratitude, God, outside these walls is a messed up world. War, terror, injustice, oppression, division, dissension, and evil threaten on so many levels. Hopelessness attempts a reign in our hearts. But we will not be dismayed, God, because you are on the move. You are good and faithful and working all things together for good, even when we cannot see. Give courage today, God, to those in fear for their lives. Give wisdom today, God, to those who hold the power. Give patience today, God, to those who are quick to judge. And give peace today, God, to all of us.
Hear our prayers, O God. Receive our gratitude and praise. Make us a blessing. Send us out from this table to announce your good news of hope, healing, and wholeness in Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray, amen.