“A Liturgy for Those Who Know Not How to Respond in Light of COVID-19”
Adapted by our own Kate Alana Powlus from “A liturgy for those flooded by Too Much Information,” in Every Moment Holy, by Douglas Kaine McKelvey
In a world so wired and interconnected,
Our anxious hearts are pummeled by
An endless barrage of troubling news.
We are daily aware of more, O Lord,
As our world spirals out of control–as stock markets,
Businesses, governments, economies, families,
and human beings made in your image
Gasp for breath under the weight of this virus,
Our hearts are heavy this day,
Fearful of what tomorrow will bring.
We do not know how to rightly respond.
But you, O Jesus, are not disquieted by such
news of viruses, of sickness, of economies & isolation.
You are neither anxious nor overwhelmed.
You carried the full weight of the suffering
of a broken world when you hung upon
The cross, and you carry it still.
You alone are the great healer,
Able to bring radical transformation to our broken world.
Our arms are far too small & strength too small to bear this on
Our own shoulders. We quake under the weight of this tragedy,
Wrapped in a blanket of fear, discomfort, shame… tired… alone.
Guard our world and communities and homes and families and loved ones.
Guard us then from shutting down our empathy,
Or walling off our hearts because of the unactionable misery
That floods our awareness.
Guard us from joining the throngs of anxious thinkers who
Know not where peace comes from.
Guard us from catastrophizing.
You have many children in many places around this globe.
Move each of our hearts to compassionately respond
To those needs that intersect our actual lives,
That in all places, your body might be actively addressing
The pain and brokenness of this world,
Give us discernment
In the face of troubling news reports
To know when to pray
When to speak out
When to act
And when to simply
Shut off our screens
And our devices
And to sit quietly
In your presence
Casting the burdens of this world
Upon the strong shoulders of the one who
Is able to bear them up.