Sunday, October 12, 2008

Pastoral Prayer: Oct 12

A Pastoral Prayer for October 12th, 2008, alluding to Exodus 32:1-14 (semi-continuous OT reading for the 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time, RCL Year A)

Faithful God ...
... we give you thanks
that indeed you do not give up on us,
even when we give up on you.

We too make for ourselves
golden calves
that we worship instead of you.

For some of us,
it's money.

For some of us,
it's patrioticness,
that leads to unquestioning allegiance
to our country,
even when you alone, O God,
are worthy of our allegiance.

For some of us,
our golden calf is
our illusions of self-reliance,
while for others of us,
it is the illusion of our worthlessness,
forgetting that we are your beloved child,
formed in your image.

But you, O God, do not give up.
You keep inviting us to turn back to you.
You keep holding out a vision of new life, of a different kind of world.

Oh, how a vision of a different kind of world
is what we need in this moment, loving God.
We keep turning on the news
to a never-ending tale of woe in our world's economic systems.
We open our mail to find bills we struggle to pay
and hard-earned treasures vanishing before our eyes.

But you, O God, run a different kind of economy--
it is always a bull market on the indicies of your love and grace and faithfulness.
You, O God, manage a different kind of investment fund--
an account with our names on it
that you continually grow with the capital of your Spirit,
whose dividends are an invitation to new life in you.

O God, our refuge,
the economy is not the only thing about which we yearn
for a vision of a different kind of world.
We remember that our world is one
where 10 years ago, your beloved child
Matthew Shepherd
laid dying on a Wyoming fencepost
simply for who you created him to be.
You, O God, have given us a vision
where all people are welcome
at your banquet feast--
pour out your power on us as we try to live more and more into that vision.

God our healer, even as we pray and hope for a different kind of world,
we also pray for your work in this world.
We ask your healing on all who are hearing...
We ask your comforting touch on all who are lonely or struggling...
We ask your empowering touch on all who are downtrodden and in chains.

Holy One, we pray all these things
by the power of your Holy Spirit,
that Spirit that interceeds for us with sighs too deep for words,
and in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord,
that One who was your different kind of world
walking the face of this one,
the One who taught us to pray together:
Our Father ...

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