A friend I’ve not seen for years, Rev. Felix Carrion, used to have a sermon call-and-response which went …Where are you? Here! “What time is it? Now. November 20 each year is two commemorations: Universal Children’s Day, recommitting to 1959 UN Declaration of the Rights of the Child, and International Transgender Remembrance Day which grieves Transgender and non-gender conforming people killed because of their gender identity. 2021 has been the deadliest year in history.Photo, the contrail, the rainbow and the moon, Tirabassi.

God, we are here, and the time is now.

We celebrate the rights of children ­
to life and a name, to food, shelter,
health care – mental and physical.

We believe that the child with a disability
must be empowered,
the child without parents sheltered,
the child in trouble with the law,
reclaimed and loved.

We commit to a child receiving help first,
to the end of exploitation,
to each child being taught
to share talents and serve the world.

And we remember the country Afghanistan
offered this resolution to every nation.

God, we are here, and the time is now.
On this day of Remembrance
of your children
who experienced in their lives
the simple joys and sorrows of living,
who were called forth like Lazarus,
born again like Nicodemus,
and were a new creation.

We weep that they also experienced
alienation, intolerance, persecution, betrayal,
that they were killed for being faithful
to the life you gave them.

Bless our attempts to open hearts and churches,
and bless each person who experiences hospitality –
not ours, but the hospitality of Christ,
who enters the joy and fragility
of human bodies as Incarnation.

In this sacred here, in this holy now, we pray. amen

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Maren C. Tirabassi’s last year’s advent to epiphany poetry volume Christmas Eve at the Epsom Circle McDonald’s has returned to bookstores and local church virtual readings. She blogs at gifts in open hands at wordpress dot com.  

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