Let’s pray together.

God-

 

One of your children once said that

joy is the infallible sign of the presence of God.

 

Way back when, in the garden of Eden, there was joy.

In Your presence.

In the beauty of everything You made.

There was joy.

 

And since that bite of forbidden fruit,

it has been an endless quest

for that joy.

 

More than anything, the deepest part of us long for Your presence.

 

And because of Your great mercy

because You came to us

in that little babe,

we can enjoy being with You again.

 

Even though it’s through a glass darkly-

we hear whispers of joy

and we see bits and pieces of Your presence around us.

You’re all around us.

You have been with us all along.

 

We wait.

We haven’t seen it all yet- that full expression of joy –

That will have to wait for the end of earthly time.

But until then- we gather around Your table.

 

At this table, when we drink this cup and eat this bread,

we can look into Your face again-

and know that we are saved

and loved

and welcomed here.

For this is Your invitation to put aside our shame and guilt

and to open our hearts

and to be full of courage

as we return Your gaze across the table.

 

For the joy that is inherent in Your presence-

we thank You

and love You.

 

Amen.