I writing to you from the UK, as I and many of our parish walk the Canterbury trail. The other day, I saw on my Instagram feed a photo of the sun setting in Maui. I had taken it a few years back when Kristin and I were there on vacation. While I am ambivalent around the efficacy of social media, occasionally I am reminded that even in that medium the Holy Spirit works her wonders every so often. In her gentle way, the Holy Spirit reminded me of our Christian duty to pray for the people of Maui, and the souls of those who died in the fire at Lahaina:
God of grace and God of grief
hear our prayers for those who survived the fires of Lahaina.
Allow them to sense, in the depth of their souls,
our connection with them
through the unceasing, ever-present love of God.
That by this prayer we say today
they know, even in their grief, that they are not alone.
We are connected to them soul to soul,
and let this truth enable them endure these days of profound lost.
May our prayers also give them a sense of their continued connectedness
with the souls they had stood with as family, neighbors and friends
and yet stand there no more.
That they know for certain that these souls continue
to flourish in the ever-present love of God.
God never put an end to anything that God loves,
and God loves all souls.
And we pray that the forces that caused this fire to a blaze into a rage
be understood and owned by the global community that so impacts its environment.
That we may continually be attuned to the ways in which
our climate is changing,
and do everything in our power
to care for those who are devastated by these changes.
We are all in this together.
Finally, we pray for attentiveness to our own souls.
That we know that our spiritual vitality and vibrancy
individually and as a community
is more important than just the patterns of our own lives.
We are souls connected each to the other
across the globe, back into time, and into space is beyond the reality of mortality
as we understand it.
We are spiritual beings having a mortal experience.
Lord, we offer this prayer for our siblings on Maui,
mediated through your soul connecting love.
In Jesus’s name.