Heavenly Father, before whom all hearts and minds are open, we are thankful on this day for all who share the gifts of their hearts and minds with us, and through that sharing give us a glimpse of you and your kingdom.

We are thankful for people through the ages who have nurtured and inspired the church, for thinkers like Augustine and Hildegard, and Luther and Calvin who have laid the very foundation of our faith, for artists like Michelangelo and Raphael and Caravaggio, who have helped us see more than we ever thought possible, for musicians like Bach and Handel and Brahms, who seem to open for us a window into your very heart.

We are thankful for those in our own time and in our own lives who have guided us with loving hearts, inspired, cajoled, and yes, corrected us. Who of us here cannot name teachers of all kinds in our own lives to whom we owe a debt we will never be able to repay?

And today Lord, we pray for the teachers in our community and around the country, whose high calling and sacred responsibility it is to shape the minds and even the very souls of those in their charge, especially those right here in our own community of faith, who teach Sunday School for children and adults, who help lead our youth in this ever more complicated world, for the musicians who seek to connect people to you through song, and indeed for everyone whose words and deeds impact the lives of others.

It is a daunting task, Lord, and not one that can be done without your help. But you have promised us that when we need you, you are there, and we are reminded that in your son Jesus Christ we have a master teacher, the cornerstone on whom we can rely to support not only our learning, and not only even our faith, but our very souls. It is in his name we offer our prayers. Amen

Mr. R. Holt Andrews, Pastoral Musician