you are there

On Sunday at University Hill Congregation our guest preacher, Peter Short, entitled his sermon on the story of the Transfiguration "The Seeing Place." In it he noted that on the Mount of Transfiguration the disciples see through Jesus' ministry to the presence of God. After the sermon the congregation sang the hymn "In the Quiet Curve of Evening" with its refrain "You are there, You are there, You are there." As worship elder my task included offering the prayers of the people that followed ...

You are there. 
This is what we have heard of You. 
The ancestors have entrusted the precious message to each passing generation.
Now the sacred message is ours to live and to tell:
You are there. 
You are there in the quiet curve of evening and in the noisy din of noonday.
You are there in the melting down of endings and in the labour pains of newness.
You are there.

We who are regularly blind pray for eyes to see You there,
    there where the trouble and the turmoil often conceals You from view.
We long to see You active, 
                           You healing, 
                             You saving … there.

          Give us eyes to see: You are there.

There in West African villages overrun with deadly illness 
There among refugees in Syria fleeing deathly violence  
There among the homeless and addicted and forgotten of prosperous cities 
                       and wealthy countries - even our own.
There where melting ice caps and warming oceans foretell looming devastation.
There where leaders require gifts of vision and insight, courage and compassion.

           Give us eyes to see: You are there.

There in a myriad of churches and chapels and cathedrals
There among the people who bear your name and who You set apart as a sign of your good news
There where your people struggle to see the way ahead 
                       and to trust in your promise to be with us there.

           Give us eyes to see: You are there.

There with the poor in spirit.
There with those who mourn.
There with the meek.
There with those who hunger and thirst for your will to be done on earth as it is in heaven.
There with the merciful.
There with the pure in heart.
There with the peacemakers.
There with those who are persecuted for the sake of setting things right.

           Give us eyes to see: You are there. 

There with those we name aloud and in silence before you now …

           Give us eyes to see: You are there.

In Jesus Christ we see You
         there on a Friday cross when the power of death appears triumphant,
         there at a Saturday tomb when all we know is absence,
         there in resurrected Sunday newness, beyond all possibility but not beyond You.

Thou be our vision
     that our lives may yet proclaim:
        “We once were blind but now we see ... were lost, but now are found”
               because You are there … here
                    in all Your Triune glory
                         as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.  Amen.

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