Thank you, God, for the joy of today.
It is still morning, and yet so many good things have come our way:
the joy of shelter, the joy of clean water coming out of taps,
the joy of food on the table.
Thank you for friends who understand us,
and the joy of meeting new friends.
Thank you that we are here in church, body and spirit,
thank you for the joy of worshipping you, our Creator.
And in the midst of joys, in all honesty
we admit that we come with fears.
Some of us have fears about new beginnings;
new schools, new relationships, new jobs.
We don’t know how we’ll do or how we’ll feel—
we are nervous and want things to go well.
There are fears about health:
aches and pains that won’t go away,
symptoms that are unexplained,
treatments that we hope will be effective.
Some of us have financial fears:
will we find work, or is our work secure,
how will we pay these bills,
have we saved enough for the future?
And then there is the fear of loneliness
that strikes us all at some points–
we fear that we won’t find people to love,
or that we’ll lose the people we do love.
God of hope, thank you that you are with us in all our fears,
and that you bring joy even in the midst of them.
Thank you for your faithfulness through time,
for the ways you have been there for us in the past,
and that nothing can separate us from your love.
Help us this week to have compassion for those who fear:
for those who are fleeing bombs and bullets,
for those who face governments that are oppressive,
for those who cannot worship openly, but must meet in secret.
In our own community, there are people who live with the fear of violence.
Help us to be people of refuge, who offer help and support,
and who go the extra mile when we see people in need.
Forgive us for the times we have been too wrapped up
in our own fears and joys to truly see our neighbour.
Help us this week to embrace joyful living,
being mindful of the gift of each day,
remembering our Saviour Jesus Christ
who lives in us and through us. Amen