The following were the prayers given at the Wine Before Breakfast service held on 20 September 2022.
At the inaugural service of Wine Before Breakfast in September 2001, we offered up a lament in response to the events of September 11. Each September at our first WBB of the season, we return to that lament and revise it in response to the world as we find it now.
How long, O Lord? How long? How long must we be held captive by our fears? You created us for glory, how long must we be architects of shame? God who sees us, you who look upon this world through tear-filled eyes, forgive our lack of trust in your abundance, restore humanity for glory and cover our shame. How long, O Lord? How long? How long must we be ashamed of the gospel of Jesus employed in the name of harm? How long must creation be destroyed? How long must the vulnerable be treated harshly? Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven. How long, O Lord? How long? We are waiting, waiting for those whom you see and name, waiting for the students and professors anxiously returning, waiting for those still healing from the pandemic, overshadowed by power that is too often abused, among those devastated by drought and floods amid those mourning unmarked graves. They are waiting, O Lord, We are waiting. Lamenting lives lived in fear. Lamenting days that have been shortened. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. [silent and spoken prayers for all who mourn] How long, O Lord? How long until there is justice? How long until righteousness takes root and bears its good fruit in our lives? Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. How long, O Lord? How long must our hearts be afraid? How long will be captivated by fear and push away those who are different? Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. [silent and spoken prayers for justice and peace] How long must we mourn? how long must we wait? How long this hunger? Healer of our every ill, light of each tomorrow, give us peace beyond our fears and hope beyond our sorrows. How long must we lament? How long must we sing this song? How long must we wait for your Kingdom? And draw us near and bind us tight, all your children here in their rags of light; in our rags of light all dressed to kill; and end this night if it be your will. [Leonard Cohen, “If it be your will”] Give peace in our time, O Lord And mercifully see us when we call upon you. Amen.