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Morning Prayer and Lament, 6/7/2020

God who is Trinity, Three-in-One, Divine Community as Ground of Being, teach us what it means to be community in these days. You promised that you are with us always, even to the end of the age, but God, so many in our midst are hurting and in need of that Eternal presence. Let us be people of lament alongside those who suffer racial injustice. Let us grieve with those who grieve, including the families of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd. Let us lament the unjust deaths of all those who have died at the hands of racism: dark-skinned bodies in our streets, dark-skinned bodies at the border, dark-skinned bodies in the Middle East in the crosshairs of our country’s policies of violence and colonialism, dark-skinned bodies of indigenous people in our own country still suffering the effects of generations of oppression by people who look like me. God, in a world in which people who look like me have far too often found dark-skinned bodies disposable, teach us again to lament. God, as I lead worship here standing on the tribal lands of the Kiikaapoi, the Osage, the Kaw, the Oceti Sakowin, teach me again how to lament. To pray that all those who suffer might know that you are with them, always, even to the end of the age.

God who is Trinity, Three-in-One, Divine Proclaimer of Truth, teach us what it means to obey everything that you have commanded us, even when it hurts to acknowledge that Truth. God, we confess our participation in a system that enjoys, even requires, that those who suffer the most must be at each other’s throats. Sociologists call that system conspicuous consumption; Economists call it unfettered capitalism; your Word calls it Greed. It requires that we all stay distracted by distrust and hatred and racism and violence toward each other. Poor whites arming themselves against poor blacks. Overworked and undertrained cops pitted against those driven by desperation to commit misdemeanors. The poorest of our country forced to face off against the poorest of other countries in the name of “defending freedom.” Social media liberals in Twitter battles with social media conservatives, trying to tear each other down for the most points in the form of likes and shares. And in the end, everyone loses. Except for the handful at the top, 1-percenters wagging their fingers and judging the morality of those who have little choice and little recourse, throwing another distraction in our laps, as they laugh all the way to the bank. God, we confess that we participate in this brokenness, that we feed it, that we stay at each other’s throats while the world burns, your creation melts, the bombs fall, and the least of these are forgotten once again. Teach us to obey everything that you have commanded us: Love. Justice. Peace.

God who is Trinity, Three-in-One, Empowerer of strength and compassion, you have sent us with a word: Go. Teach us what it means to Go in this moment in time, to act in a time of paralyzing inaction. Empower us to be people of action, embracing hard conversations, building necessary bridges, speaking out against injustice, working to see beyond oversimplified stereotypes, reading words from people who don’t look like us, listening to learn more than to legitimize our current assumptions, spending our money and our time and our votes in ways that show that what we care about most is your Gospel. Empower us to act in ways that demonstrate love.

God who is Trinity, Three-in One, God-with-us, you taught us once how to live and how to pray. Let us not forget your words, and as we say them together in unity:

Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.

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