France, Germany, Monaco
19 February 2017 - 25 February 2017
Give thanks for:
- Reconciliation between France and Germany after the end of the Second World War.
- The fall of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of Germany and its families.
- The witness of such ecumenical centres as the Taizé community, which has revitalized worship, particularly among young people.
- Those working for tolerance and support for immigrants and refugees, so that hatred and violence based on ethnicity are eliminated.
- Magnificent church art and architecture, which tell the gospel story and praise God.
- The struggle to unite east and west in Germany, that the gap between the rich and poor may decrease and that all citizens be treated with justice.
- Revitalization of the church amid increasing secularism and atheism.
- A deepening of inter-religious dialogue.
- Those who seek to protect the environment and transform the current harmful, energy-intensive lifestyles and economies.
- Refugees and immigrants who often face discrimination and racism.
- The unemployed and those who face economic uncertainty in the midst of globalization.
The colours of life
God, creator of all things,
you are our sun, our light, our strength.
Help us to grow in your love.
Grant that your church may shine with your light.
Your church today is spread all over the earth, as you wanted it to be:
thousands of colours to give you thanks,
thousands of colours to sing your glory,
thousands of colours who dance and are united in you.
Father, we bless you for the love with which you love us.
Father, we bless you for the love you give us each day.
In the midst of our sadness, you place your love of many colours.
Glory be to you. Amen.
(By Louis Devichi, France)
God, we Christians in Germany and in many other parts of Europe
are becoming more and more unsure of ourselves.
The fear of losing the familiar,
the fear of uncertain new developments cripple many of us.
Stand by us,
so that we can resist the apathy in our churches;
so that we can seek for an authentic lifestyle as responsible Christians,
so that we can resist hostility to foreigners and nationalism
with determination and courage;
and speak with more confidence of our faith in the power of your realm.
Lead us, God, to the land you will show us.
[Modification for those outside Europe:]
Lead them, God, to the land you will show them.
Let go of what you have.
Say goodbye and turn your face to what lies ahead.
You have a long way before you.
God says, “I will be with you.”
Let us encourage one another on our way together.
Let us go in the strength which God gives us.
We will go gently into the land that you, O God, will show us.
We will go together, looking out for signs of your presence.
Christ has gone before us.
Christ is waiting for us, there where we are.
(Prayer and sending forth by Fritz Baltruweit, Klaus Burkhardt, Klaus Mehnert, Christine Lindhorst, Klaus Hampe; English translation: Elizabeth Burtzlaff, SO pp.328-32, 338,342.)