August 3, 2020
A daily prayer during this COVID-19 crisis
During these difficult days, members of the Commonwealth East District of the New England Conference are sharing a daily prayer based on the Revised Common Lectionary for the week. You are welcome to use these in worship or in your own devotions.
O God who is both one and three, today I grieve. I struggle with this “us vs. them,” “black vs. white,” “slave vs. free” – why is humanity so attached to dichotomy?
Racism is our plague, our American legacy, but we didn’t invent hate. The tendency goes back as far as faith history: Cain vs. Abel, Isaac vs. Ishmael, Jacob vs. Esau. How do we reconcile You, our loving God of grace, with stories of a God who chooses one over the other, who pits brother against brother?
What an irony, that 11 of Jacob’s sons turned against one, and sold him as a slave, to the family of their grandfather’s disowned brother. I don’t believe that You sent it, that You planned it, that You meant it to be, because You are the God who erases our divisions, who declares that there is no more Jew and Greek, slave and free.
But what I don’t just believe, what I truly know, is that You’re a God who can take what is broken and make it whole, from our unjust systems to my very own soul. You turn human cruelty into grace. You enter our brokenness and disgrace to bless us and use us as agents of change.
Even in our bondage to broken systems, give us the courage and wisdom to speak truth to power. Help us be Your voice, Your hands, Your feet, Your living presence in this burning hour, bringing love and light so that all can see, dispelling the darkness of division with Your liberation kin-dom that goes so much further than mere equality.
And so we pray: may Your kin-dom come, but until it does, may we become the ones you send ahead to pave its way. In the name of the system-breaker who was Your child, and in the power of Your Spirit, who is holy and wild, let Your people say: Amen.
By Rev. Natalie Hill, Chaplain at MIT and The Circuit, the new virtual hub for student and young adult ministries (www.thecircuitonline.org) Based on Genesis 37:27 & Psalm 105:16-17