Gracious God, we may not want to admit it,
but we are more like the scribe than the widow.
We dress our children in the latest fashions and
upgrade to the newest iPhone.
But we don’t think about the child who may be working
in those factories overseas to give us our latest gadgets
and our athletic wear.
We say we want to protect the environment,
but our constant need for energy depletes the rain forest
and poisons the water.
We put our needs before the needs of others.
Help us to be more aware, Lord.
Help us to see how we are connected with one another,
with nature, and with you, Lord.
Help us to see how our private and our public choices
impact each other, impact our world,
and impact our relationship with you, our Creator.
Help us to remember we affect people we will never know
and will never see.
Help us to put ourselves in someone’s story,
to hear their circumstances without judgment
and to see your image in their face.
Creator God, you created a world that contains all we need.
Remind us that our gifts and treasures are not a reflection of our faith,
but more a reflection on the circumstance of our birth
and our ability to make our way in a material world.
As your disciples shared their gifts and talents with the early church,
so too, are we to share with each other.
Help us to see the inequities of this world
and give us the strength to stand up for justice and peace.
Use us to fulfill your plan here on earth.
Fill our hearts with the desire to follow the examples of your Son, Jesus.
Remind us that being a church does not only mean gathering together
in this sacred place.
Being a church means taking our message out to the world,
in deeds more than in words,
showing others your love and your grace.
Help us to be more like the Widow,
give us the strength to give ourselves freely to each other,
without fear, and without doubt.
We know that you are with us always.
And, we know that faith alone does not guarantee us a pain-free life,
but we know that with your presence, and with the help of each other,
we can be supported and comforted in this world.
We ask for your healing presence for those among us who need it the most.
We name ___
As the widow, we come to this sacred place, and together,
we use the words that your son taught us: