A Prayer of Confession for We the Church
By JANICE SIX
Giver of All Life,
We, the church, stand before you with our heads reverently bowed and with contrite hearts, for like the Israelites, we, too, have lost sight of your overarching will by focusing so intensely on our own welfare and desires. It’s obvious, even to us, that Jesus’ command to love others as ourselves and his prayer for our unity are as needed today as when he directed them to and about the apostles more than 2000 years ago.
Cocooned in our insolated lives, we confess that we resist sitting with the devastation and grief of the suffering of Haiti or imagining the horror of witnessing the rape of our daughters, the beheading of our husbands or fathers in Afghanistan. Even though we’re only a day’s drive from the border, we can distance ourselves from the plight of the refugees whose hopes of a safe place to raise their children are frayed and unraveling. We admit that we can even choose to dismiss consideration of what is in jeopardy as ICU units across the state are forced to hang “no vacancy” signs on their doors.
Forgive us, Lord, for sinking so deeply into the comforts of our cushy lives that we refuse to simply pray for those who suffer and pray for those who have heeded your call to be physically present in these places of devastation.
In the days to come, awaken us to your presence. May your Spirit, “…stir us from placidness,” that we may dare to allow our hearts to be broken by that which breaks your heart. For the sake of Christ’s reputation, fill us with compassion and grant us the wisdom to recognize what is within our power to do, then prompt us to rise up and be the church in this fragile and ailing world. Amen.
The Rev. Dr. Janice Six is associate pastor of First Central Presbyterian Church (USA)