There is an empty chair at our table,
an ache in our hearts
and tears on our faces.
We may try to shield one another
from the grief we bear
but we cannot hide it from you.
Hold tight our dear Josh
whose presence we miss
in these homecoming days.
Open our eyes and our hearts
to the healing and warmth
of the light of your presence.
Assure us, Lord, that those we miss
have a place at your table
and a home in your heart
as well as in ours.
Open our hearts to joyful memories
of the love we shared
with those who have gone before us.
Help us tell the stories
that make the past present
and bring us close to those we miss.
Teach us to lean on each other
and on you, Lord,
for the strength we need
to walk through difficult times.
Give us quiet moments
with you, with our thoughts,
with our memories and prayers.
Be with us, Lord,
and hold us in your arms
even as you hold those whom we miss.
This is the day you have made, Lord:
help us to rejoice in it
and in the promise of your peace.
(Links to prayers and reflections for the month of November)