October 21, 2020
A daily prayer during this COVID-19 crisis
During these difficult days, the United Methodist Foundation of New England is 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.
Matthew 22:34-40 (NRSV) 34 When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, 35 and one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. 36 “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” 37 He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the greatest and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
Holy One, Thank you for these commandments, which do not let me go. I have good reasons not to love some of my neighbors – They seem to value a way of living that will be the end of something that I hold dear. They support a vision and leaders with policies that would hurt … themselves. Their vision threatens people I love and me. Our fury is sometimes delicious. (Are you sure that you love my neighbor?) God of love, there are some days when I hope you will let me off the hook. But there it is: Jesus said, “On these two commandments hang all the law and prophets.” You have taught me that they are intimately intertwined – That we all are intimately intertwined – That I cannot really love you without the other. And so, I come back to you knowing that I need to get over… me. O Lord, stretch me in these days – even in uncomfortable, necessary ways – To widen my soul. I am ready. I am listening. Come alongside me and I will discover and fiercely hold onto compassion for these neighbors, As I do justice, love kindness and mercy, and walk humbly with you. Amen.
By Rev. Ted Crass, President, The United Methodist Foundation of New England