we give you thanks for this day that you have made
and for this community you have called together.
As we come in out of the cold,
we are mindful of those with nowhere else to go.
As we join in conversation,
we are mindful of those who are alone.
As we enjoy a delicious meal, lovingly prepared,
we give thanks for your bounty—
of the earth producing food,
of talented people using their gifts to help us taste and see that you are good—
and also we are mindful of those who are hungry,
those who are desperate for even a cup of clean water,
those who make cookies from mud to feed their children,
those who wonder how to make ends meet in the second half of the month.
Put our wealth at the service of the poor,
and our fullness at the service of the empty,
for we know that you never intended your human family to live with this divide.
You are a font of mercy and a source of hope—
nourish us this morning not only with the fruit of your creation
but also with the fruit of the spirit.
Feed our minds with wisdom and our hearts with understanding.
Guard us from the temptation of repeating beautiful words with no intent to act on them,
and from the temptation of whitewashing and sanitizing your prophets
until they are comfortable for us.
We come to remember, and to celebrate, and to be transformed.
Give us ears to hear and then hands ready to work,
for the good work you began in our brother Martin is not yet complete.
Today, people will be executed without a trial in the streets of our cities.
Today, our neighbors will feel the fear in the eyes of the privileged.
Today, our children will be judged at first sight.
Today, our leaders will pretend there is no problem.
Today, casual conversation will betray our mistrust of the other.
Even today, the day we set aside to celebrate and remember,
is awash in the sins of racism and greed, sexism and self-centeredness.
Use this time to strengthen us for the work ahead.
We come seeking your beloved community—
create it here once again.
Use our uniqueness to bond us together in interdependence,
and our differences to weave into a tapestry of new creation.
And send us out with new friends,
ready to see each person in your image,
as a neighbor in this global community.
Change the world through us, until all people and all creation know the abundance of enough.
We thank you, Holy One,
for we know that you will do this.