The Oasis - November 29, 2023

Author: Rev. Dan Hollis
November 29, 2023

        December 1st is recognized around the world as World AIDS Day, which since its establishment in 1988 has been dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic and mourning those who have died of the disease. It is a cause that has long been dear to my heart, as I lost a family member to AIDS when I was a child. It has been a few years since First Parish has had the good fortune to host a World AIDS day event, so many of you may not realize the day coming up. So I thought I would give you a prayer that you can read to yourself or your family on December 1st wherever you are. This is a prayer I once led at a service of remembrance and hope here in York, and if you wish you may say the bold words out loud as a response.

Dear God, as we enter the Advent season and all creation yearns for a better world to come, we pray that we might not be complacently waiting, but actively seeking to do your will and embody your justice. On this World AIDS Day, we lift up to you all those in our human family who are living with HIV/AIDS. As long as one person suffers, we all suffer. Unite us in our struggle against this disease and empower us to be among those who cast out stigma and prejudice and welcome all in love.
            God in your mercy, hear our prayer.
We pray for our nation and all nations, for leaders and all those in places of power. We crave your spirit of peace and justice. Empower all nations and their leaders to heed your commandment to love one another, just as you love us. Guide and direct the efforts of governments, non-governmental institutions, business leaders, and houses of worship in global humanitarian efforts, especially in the struggle against HIV/AIDS. Nurture in the hearts of all humanity intolerance for this pandemic and a generosity of spirit that allows for all of those who need treatment to receive the care they need.
            God in your mercy, hear our prayer. 
Comfort and heal all those who suffer in body, mind, or spirit; give them courage and hope in their troubles. We pray especially for those who are living with HIV/AIDS, and for those who have lost loved ones to this disease. Comfort those who bear the brunt of unjust stigma, and give all people the courage and conviction to stand for and with them. Allow us to be healing hands to all who experience pain, that no one may ever feel alone on their journey.
            God in your mercy, hear our prayer.
We pray this day for all who have died, and for those of us who remain. Heal our sorrow as we remember them, and hear our joy at all they gave to us.
Dan Hollis


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