Benediction – offered at Interfaith Thanksgiving Service, Ogden, UT

Divine Spirit,

God of many names and understandings, within us and around us, in each and everyone,

We are so very grateful for all the blessings you have bestowed upon us and we are grateful tonight for this interfaith gathering of Thanksgiving.

Celebrations such as this one can remind us that all the diverse faith traditions of the world are, in their hearts, simply different ways to honor the sacredness of life.

Help us to remember that all life is a holy gift and that all people and all creatures are worthy of this blessing.

We are so grateful for these gifts but we are not yet truly satisfied.

There is still too much trouble in our world. There is too much hunger and despair.  There is too much hate, too much violence, and too much war. There is too much poison in our oceans, in our rivers, and in our air.

So we are thankful but we cannot yet be truly content.

Forgive us, God, for all the damage we have done to our planet and to each other.

Forgive us too for all we have not yet done to begin the work of healing the damage we have caused.

We pray that you will stir our hearts with the compassion from your holy fire.

We pray that you will give our bodies the strength we need, that we might lift our arms in action even as we lift them to you in praise.

Help us be steadfast in the true task of all religion, to bring hope to those who are in despair, to bind up the broken hearted, to feed the hungry, to tend to the sick, to care for each other, to care for the earth, and to bring freedom, justice, and mercy to all who are oppressed in body or in spirit.

Send us forth this evening full of gratitude and even fuller of a renewed commitment to bring more peace and generosity into our own lives, and into the lives of others.

Stay with us and guide our steps in mindfulness, in strength, compassion, and in courage.

Help us to heal this hurting world.  Help us to honor the sacredness of life.

Blessings on each and every one of us here tonight.  Blessings on the world and all of its creatures.

Insha’Allah, Shalom, Amen, Blessed Be, and Namaste

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