Come, shine in the darkness — Cara Heafey, UK (John 1:5)

God, you are not distant from us
You came to us in vulnerability
You offered yourself as a gift of love.

We pray today for those who are in the midst of darkness
The darkness of poverty
The darkness of loneliness
The darkness of grief
The darkness of despair
Wherever shadows threaten to overwhelm
Wherever they erode dignity or crush the spirit,
Wherever they hold terror, or danger, or hopelessness

Come Lord Jesus, light of all people,
Shine in the darkness

We pray today for all victims and perpetrators of violence
For those whose bodies have been violated
For those whose bodies have been harmed or abused
For those who have lost sight of the holiness of the human body
And the value of human life

Come Lord Jesus, light of all people,
Shine in the darkness

We pray today for those whose bodies are ravaged by illness
For those who live with chronic pain, or fatigue, or disability
For those whose bodies draw unwanted attention or discrimination
For those whose bodies are changing, through puberty, pregnancy, menopause, surgery or disease
For those whose bodies are failing and nearing the end of life

Come Lord Jesus, light of all people,
Shine in the darkness

We pray today for our bodies
With all their aches and pains
With all their limitations
The secrets and memories they hold
The lines, scars and markings they bear
Their vulnerability, their woundedness

We bring our bodies to you, whatever state they are in
Help us to love, cherish and care for them.

Come Lord Jesus, God-made-flesh
Shine your healing light in our darkness
Amen.

Inspired by the prologue to John’s gospel

Featured image: Sculpture “Gaze at a thousand years of stars,” by Helen Clancy, Australia