My wife and I just spent a week at a Lutheran retreat center called Holden Village in central Washington state; teaching and learning with theologians, churchgoers, and artists from around the world. It was a wonderful time of renewal, and I thank you all for providing your pastors with the opportunity to rest and be renewed.
There’s a prayer that’s been handed down through the years as people leave Holden’s literal mountaintop, and go back out to the world. As I preach a brief sermon series on the metaphor and actuality of wilderness, I too give this prayer for all of us:
O God, you have called your servants to ventures
of which we cannot see the ending,
by paths yet untrodden,
through perils unknown.
Give us faith to go out with good courage,
not knowing where we go,
but only that your hand is leading us
and your love supporting us
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.