When I was a little girl growing up in Virginia,
I walked to church with my mother on Sundays.
My black patent leather shoes slapped on the brick sidewalks.
“I was glad when they said unto me,
let us go unto the house of the Lord.”
Today I am going back, to the place familiar in memory,
but strange to see up close again.
I remember the hallways and stairwells,
the ornate doorknobs and the stain glass windows,
the view from the balcony of Christmas pageants and electric candlelight.
Today, this very day, I step into a place I never imagined,
charged with bringing a good word,
a word that speaks to people who no longer know me,
a word that honors you and makes your love real,
a word that bridges time and circumstances.
Be with me as I undertake this holy task.
Be in my proclamation and in my conversation.
Be in my nerve endings and still their quavering.
Be with us all as we serve you this day,
and every day, in Christ’s name. Amen.