Weekly thoughts from the Rector of Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church in Houston, Texas, where these words remind us that Jesus’ peace goes with us into the world.
For many Americans, today is known as Super Bowl Sunday. And that major event will be taking place this evening in Houston, just down the street from Palmer. If you happen to be our guest this morning because you’re in town to watch a football game, we are honored by your presence and hope you enjoy your time in our city. Palmer’s mission is to know and share the love of Jesus Christ, and our prayer is that you will receive that gift in our worship together as the people of God. While it makes no theological sense to pray for God’s intervention on behalf of the New England Patriots or the Atlanta Falcons, there’s nothing wrong with giving thanks for other aspects of sports and those who, on and off the field, make them possible:
Eternal God, giver of joy and source of all strength, we pray for those who have prepared for today’s Super Bowl game in the City of Houston — athletes and coaches, referees and officials, stadium and city workers, law enforcement and medical professionals, and so many others whose efforts will remain unseen and unknown. We also pray for churches and organizations that are welcoming many different kinds of people from many different parts of our nation. In a world where forces seem to pull us apart from one another, we give you thanks for a desire to come together and to celebrate the human spirit in motion in athletics. We have been wonderfully made by you and in your image. In victory and in defeat, help us to reflect the grace and love that we have known in the face of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
— The Rev. Neil Alan Willard, Rector