A Liturgy for Those Crying Out for Justice
O merciful Father, our Author of justice,
the innocent blood of those slain
cries out to you from the ground,
open-mouthed, warm, ever-red.
Come down, O God, and see what has been done!
Our politics of fear and anger have
enslaved, abused, neglected, erased, excluded, dismissed;
we confer second-class citizenship;
we legitimize the making of victims,
whom you have called your Beloved.
Don the sackcloth, sprinkle the ashes!
Bitter-weeping, we refuse to be comforted,
for there are those of us who are no more.
Will you forget us forever, O Lord?
How long until, with our own eyes, we see your justice done?
O Christ, we confess that we have looked away.
Walk with us to the margins of our world,
where you have always been,
and abide in proximity with those who are not forgotten.
Though the discomfort may break us,
O Healer, meet us where we lack and repair us with gold.
We crave an easy way, but strengthen us to rise above,
taking on each other’s burdens as our own,
learning that we are inextricably tied with our fellow image-bearers,
and we need each other on our march upward toward Zion.
Son of God, born in a manger,
you came among us, where the lowly tread.
You identify with the oppressed,
and as we do to them, we do to you.
For you, the Lord, love justice; you require mercy.
Move now, in and through us, Holy Spirit.
Search the corners of our hearts for prejudice.
Break the spirit of racism and racial superiority.
Give us a powerful hope, so that we may speak as those who do not shrink back.
Move on behalf of those who cry out to you.
We appeal to your throne of righteousness.
From the confines of our traditions, we the Church
repent of our long history of failure,
a system of sin, always before us.
Jesus Christ, alive in your people, the heart and truth of our faith,
clear the way now, in us, to be a source of hope.
May we be a witness of Kingdom community.
With each new tragedy, despair seeps into our bones.
Renew in us, O God, a hopeful kindling, fanned into flame, for the work ahead.
Create in us the imagination for a new humanity:
our multitude too numerous to count, standing at your throne;
a mosaic of every nation, tribe, people, and language, none left out;
reconciled and singing free before the Lamb.
Take a few minutes to write out a simple prayer for our streets this morning.
Scripture referenced in this liturgy:
1 John 4:7