We make choices in our lives.
Sometimes we choose wisely and
sometimes our choices land us in the muck,
maybe not literally rolling in the mud with the pigs,
but we can get pretty messy, Lord.
Remind us that we can find you in the messiness of life.
As children, we learned about the world you gave us by getting dirty.
We jumped in puddles, rolled in the autumn leaves
and picked dandelion bouquets we gave to our mothers.
Sometimes we played together nicely and
sometimes we refused to share our toys.
You were with us during those times of exploration.
Teenagers, Lord, can be really messy creatures.
As teenagers, we struggled to find our place in the world
and to understand the messiness of adult responsibilities and relationships.
As parents of teenagers, we struggled to find the words
to connect with our children in ways that brought them closer
and didn’t push them away.
The teenage years were full of exploration and angst.
We may not have had dirty clothes, but we were often deep in the muck.
You were still with us, Lord, during those years.
And then we became adults, Lord, perhaps with children of our own.
And even then, our lives were messy and we knew that we were not always in control.
Families are really, really messy, Lord, no matter how old we are.
We hurt each others’ feelings. We borrow things that don’t belong to us.
We think our family members should know what we want and what we need.
We expect things from our family that we would never ask a stranger to do.
Our children may not have the same dreams we want for them.
Our parents lose their independence and we find our roles suddenly changing.
Remind us, Lord, that we find you with us in the messiness,
and the joy, of family life.
Jesus, you taught us the value of forgiveness and acceptance.
Help us to see these truths in the messiness of our lives.
Open our eyes to the barriers we may be placing between ourselves and others.
Open our hearts to forgive when we feel unappreciated or less valued.
Use our hands to support each other and
to celebrate each other’s gifts and talents.
Remind us of the joy of childhood and help us find in our lives today.
You taught us the value of community and family.
We know that you are with us always, even in the muck,
and we ask that you especially be with __.
As your family, as your loving children,
we use the words Jesus taught us, by saying,