Monday, December 2, 2013


Loving and gracious God, as we begin this observance of World AIDS Day, we pause to gather our spirits together as One. We are a people who have walked through the wilderness of disease and uncertainty, of loss and grief.  In the years since HIV/AIDS first impacted our world, we have had our hearts broken in more ways than we can count. We have companioned loved ones through their final days, holding them, crying with them, tending to their needs with great love and tenderness.
We ask you to share your love and tenderness with us. For even as tremendous strides have been made in battling this disease, there are times when we, too, need a loving touch, a warm embrace, a word of hope.
We come this day to remember: we remember those early years of the epidemic when it felt like all we were doing was going to funerals; we remember the many friends and loved ones whose lives were cut short too soon, whose names are inscribed on our hearts; we remember the strength of a community that found its voice and power, to not only care for the dying but fight for the living; we remember in spite of the fear those who acted up and spoke out to get the attention of a nation that preferred to ignore the disease; we remember courageous lives, moving through their final days with dignity.
We come this day to renew ourselves, to sit in the tranquil beauty of this place and remember that life and death and new life are a continuous cycle found not only in the natural world but also the spiritual world. We come bringing our sighs that are too deep for words into this observance, knowing that here our weary souls might find rest; we come to gather again as a community that has learned the truth: that we can do more good in the world together than we can alone.

Through remembering and renewal, we find the strength, power, and inspiration to recommit ourselves in the battle against HIV/AIDS, for there are still so many who suffer. Because of fear and bigotry, because of poverty and politics, too many face this illness alone, without the support of loved ones, without education or needed medications. We come together to stand in solidarity with those around the world, who are in need of the work of our hands and the labors of our hearts.
We remember this day the child in South Africa, the young person in Brazil, the woman in Southeast Asia, the man in the Tenderloin. For them, for all those who have passed, for those who live with HIV/AIDS, for at-risk and vulnerable communities, we know that we must continue to make education and health care accessible and affordable for all, to work for a world of zero discrimination, zero new transmissions, zero aids related deaths, and to eradicate of the stigma of AIDS.
Be with us as we honor the heroes and sheroes among us, knowing that there are countless, nameless others who have lived lives of service and compassion without hesitation or reservation. May we, too, stand as tall and strong as the trees that surround us, may we allow our light and love to shine in the darkest places, rekindling connection and hope. In this way, may healing and wholeness spill from our hearts to those in need.
Our Holy Friend and Comforter, we pray in the assurance that you hear all our prayers, whether spoken aloud or held in the quiet place within our hearts. Amen.

No comments:

Post a Comment