a pandemic blessing when it feels hard to be loving

God, we know that we should be loving,
but it feels like this pandemic
has made it so much harder.

O God, give us what we need
to able to love others well in this paradox,
this strange mixture of isolation and closeness,
despair and wanting.

God have mercy.
Christ have mercy.
Spirit have mercy.

I do not understand myself.
I want to do what is right but I do not do it.
instead, I do the very thing I hate.
Romans 3:15 NLV

God have mercy.
Christ have mercy.
Spirit have mercy.

I call to You from the end of the earth
when my heart is weak.
lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
Psalm 61:2

Blessed are we who say
God, we are tired.
this pandemic has worn us thin,
exposing the weak places, the old wounds,
the unspoken resentments,
the anger once hidden that now refuses to stay put.

God, things are getting real,
too real to handle amid pandemic pressures —
worries about money, jobs, health, politics, family, school,
and decisions that loom
although the facts we need are out of reach.

We are in an altered social landscape
where we are enclosed, yet apart.
There is new intensity, new opportunity, new danger.

God, blessed are we
who see the widened rifts between us
and feel it as sadness,
sadness that we have run out of love too soon,
that there just doesn’t seem to be enough,
that we fall short, and can’t meet in the middle.

God, blessed are we,
who know how much we want it–
love to give, and love to receive
as a one human to another,
limited, glorious, flawed,
irreplaceable, disappointing, desirable,
each of us creatures of Your own making,
on our way back to You.

Blessed are we who ask You God,
to revive us, and feed us with Your love.
help us feel it, taste it, and metabolize it
so we have enough to be fully alive ourselves,
with lots left over to share.

God, grant us the real-time guidance we need,
that we might know if and how and when
to swing out over the dark gap
of mutual suspicion, enmity and fear,
trusting that Your wings will bear us up
all the way.

God have mercy.
Christ have mercy.
Spirit have mercy.

Virtue fails us, both ours and theirs.
Love’s best friend is forgiveness.

And be sweet one toward another
and affectionate,
and be forgiving one another,
just as God in The Messiah
has forgiven us.
Aramaic Bible in Plain English