TWO PRAYERS: this morning we invite you to take a few minutes with these prayers/cries from Sunday’s teaching.
“Thou Eternal God, out of whose absolute power and infinite intelligence the whole universe has come into being, we humbly confess that we have not loved thee with our hearts, souls and minds, and we have not loved our neighbors as Christ loved us. We have all too often lived by our own selfish impulses rather than by the life of sacrificial love as revealed by Christ. We often give in order to receive. We love our friends and hate our enemies. We go the first mile but dare not travel the second. We forgive but dare not forget. And so as we look within ourselves, we are confronted with the appalling fact that the history of our lives is the history of an eternal revolt against you. But thou, O God, have mercy upon us. Forgive us for what we could have been but failed to be. Give us the intelligence to know your will. Give us the courage to do your will. Give us the devotion to love your will. In the name and spirit of Jesus, we pray. Amen.”
– Dr Martin Luther King Jr.
- Take moment to reflect on your own heart. Write out a simple prayer of confession.
2. 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 of your own for our city.
Scripture referenced in this liturgy:
1 John 4:7