I recently came across the phrase, ‘hope is love stretched into the future’ and used it for some Christmas intercessions. I prayed for a future where we can live free from fear of the Covid-19 pandemic because of the development and rollout of effective vaccines. These intercessions asked that God lead and guide all involved in developing, testing, approving and using the different vaccines and be with all who currently have the virus and all who are providing care and treatment; may his love be shown now in care and be stretched into a future that is free from of current restrictions.
As well as giving cause to pray into this time of pandemic, the God of hope also creates hope in us that we might see his love stretched into a future where his kingdom comes on earth as it is in heaven. Let us place our hope in the God of hope, the one whose love stretches into the future, and make that our prayer this Christmastide:
God of hope, we pray for a future where the good news of Christmas – of God with us – is experienced in every community throughout the world. May our experience of a Christmas in which we are only able to be with others in small numbers and for a short time make us hunger and thirst for depth of community and greater love of all. May your love in coming to be with us be stretched into a future where we reflect your love by being with those who are alone, marginalised, despised or rejected. Amen.
Happy Christmas from all at Churches Together in Westminster.