November 13, 2016

On Sunday, our Prayers of the People invited us to reflect, pray, and remember that our country’s news arrives to us in the midst of God’s deeper story.  

God of all grace, God of all mercy,  God of all tenderness, today we remember that you are the God of self-giving love. That by your love we have become family. Your family, that lives for the sake of others. We are your people. We know that you love us and delight in us. You want the best for us. We belong to you. You embrace us, in our diversity, not in spite of it. And we are diverse… We are immigrants, we are women, we are conservatives, we are LGBTQ, we are children, we are gun-owners, we are men, we speak multiple languages, we are pacifists, we are black, we live in rural areas, we are liberals, we pay taxes, we are Native American, we have disabilities, we voted Republican, we voted Democrat, we voted our conscience, we didn’t vote at all. We are made in your image.

We are your church, and in the wake of this election we struggle to know how to be one body. What we know to do is to come to talk with you. So here we are.

Lord in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

Many of us are afraid, God. We fear for our own safety or the safety of friends and family. Immigrants fear being deported, or fear having their family ripped apart by deportation. Refugees who have fled unspeakable trauma now fear that the loved ones they are desperately praying for will not be able to join them in safety.

Muslims, Sikhs, Arabs, and Indians fear hateful acts and discriminating laws.

We are afraid because many of us have been dehumanized. Women, African Americans, people with disabilities, LGBTQ people, migrants, victims of sexual violence and harassment —so many have been characterized in ways that desecrate the image of God in them. We hear of words and acts of violence directed towards them from across our country and in our own community. We pray for your protection over these vulnerable people. Guide those of us who enjoy extreme privilege in this country to stand with the vulnerable, to listen to their stories, to hear their pain and to sit in lament with them.

Lord in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

Please take a moment of silent prayer to say what is in you to say to God.

Lord in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

God, we are your people and we are not all the same. Some among us cheered while others wept this week. And here we are together as one church. One Lord, one faith, one baptism. Teach us, God, how to love one another. Show us how to maintain relationships where we disagree. Guide us to be courageous allies and advocates for the vulnerable, to stand up in the face of hatred and violence and, at the very same time, to never cease bearing the scandal of your love, mercy and grace to those we call other. For we know that we are recipients of that same love.

God, strengthen your people to seek for ourselves what we hope to see in our leaders.

We know that all people are of equal worth, that those of us with power are called to serve those without, that we are to be hospitable to and love all people—even those who are different from us or who may be our enemies—This is your cross shaped path- To give of ourselves, and to serve and love others.

Lord in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

 

 

[1] Adapted with gratitude from The CRC Office of Social Justice.