I’ve got babies on the brain this week.
I got the chance to help lead worship today, and helped participate in the baptism of twin girls; and, one of the families in our congregation welcomed a new baby into the world on Wednesday. These two celebrations were held in sight along with the story my friend Ann recently told on our church’s website, about the very brief life of her daughter, who was found at birth to have a syndrome that was “incompatible with life.”
Below is the prayer I wrote for the Prayers of the People this week. Feeling grateful for families – however they are defined.
God, our mother and father,
wellspring of the life-giving nutrients of love and encouragement,
We thank you for our families –
whether defined by blood, by choice, or by the waters of baptism.
We pray for families that are growing in our midst –
for J, M, and A, as they welcome baby A into the world;
for this congregation, as we officially welcome J and J into the church family;
for babies growing in bellies, whom we cannot wait to meet.
We pray for the children
who remind us how we are called to be in the world,
who love without regard for race, nationality, class, gender, sexual orientation, or ability;
We pray for those who will too often go to bed with an empty stomach,
who will not know the comfort of an adult they can trust,
who are taken from us far too soon.
We pray for parents who trudge through sleepless nights,
feeding newborns, holding cold compresses against sick foreheads,
offering comfort against nightmares;
who worry with budgets and medical bills, bullying and safety,
who have to find the strength to say goodbye to their children.
We pray for our human family, the church universal.
Give us vision to see one another as you see us –
illuminated by the light of your love
and nourished by the flames of your Spirit.
Embolden us to be your people,
faithful and courageous.
As your beloved Son
embraced his mission in the waters of baptism,
inspire us with the fire of your Spirit
to join in his transforming work.
We ask this in the name of our Savior Jesus Christ,
who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.