Thank you for the way you have led us to green pastures and still water;
you’ve shown us beauty this week that has fed our souls.
The brilliant green of the trees glowing in the morning sun,
the delicate symphony the birds sing each morning,
the caress of the warm sun on our upraised cheeks,
the fragrance of honeysuckle in the evening.
Some of us have walked through dark valleys this week,
and all of us know someone in a dark valley,
valleys of sickness, grief, uncertainty, fear.
You meet us there in the darkness, you protect us.
Our enemies are present in our lives;
forces that would take us away from you.
Pride, envy, hatred, selfishness,
all played out on individual and corporate levels.
We need your help in our lives, forgiving us, encouraging us.
You have heard the concerns of our hearts
that were spoken during our sharing time today,
and you heard the concerns that were unspoken,
which weigh too heavily for us to share them.
We call on you for help; you guide us carefully.
You have provided for our basic needs this week,
thank you for the food we’ve eaten,
for the luxury of variety in our diet,
for the joy of cooking,
for the clean water that comes out of our taps.
You anoint us with oil,
you gift us with grace,
providing unexpected blessings over and over,
encouragement and new strength when we falter,
tender compassion when we are spent.
Goodness and mercy is following us
all the days of our lives.
We give thanks for this good life,
for life and breath this day,
a day to praise and thank you,
we want to dwell in your house forever. Amen.
(this song can be framed, before or after with the hymn “Gentle Shepherd”)