Rom 5:1-5; 8:18-25
God of hope, God of Lent, show us what it is to follow you to the cross, to follow you to the tomb.
Forgive us for trying to fix the world from a safe distance. Show us what it means to get our hands dirty in the hopelessness and despair to which others are subjected. Show us what it is to join others in their darkness.
For those living in the darkness of poverty, of loneliness, of grief, of fear – move us we pray, to be a true companion. Give us courage and discernment, that we might know:
How best to be alongside those in poverty – so that we truly pray for our daily bread.
How best to be alongside those trapped in loneliness, that our presence might somehow convey your presence.
How best to be with those with grief, so that their tears become our tears, and our hope become theirs.
How best to enter the fear of others, so that we might recognise the darkness in which others live, and remain with them nevertheless.
And so may we be mediators of genuine hope.
But grant us also the courage to receive hope when it is offered to us. That we might not wallow in our own sorrow, or despair in the darkness the we face, or cower beneath the fears that haunt us. Show us how to receive true hope in whatever form you bring it to us.
Show us what it is to inhabit darkness when that is where you lead us, that we might experience real hope when that is what you offer us.