With thanks to Anne Lamott, Broderick Greer, and a few other things I have read and prayers I have heard and spoken, here is the invocation I gave today at the General Assembly luncheon of the Covenant Network. Thank you to Jessica Vasquez Torres, Bruce Reyes-Chow, Jerrod Lowery, and Denise Anderson for the important conversation during the luncheon. I’ll be thinking about what I learned for a long time to come.
Let us come before our Creator in prayer:
O Holy One, we come before you in gratitude and thanks. For the gifts of family, friend, and community. For the beauty of your created world, especially apparent to those of us working in the shadow of majestic mountains and powerful rivers.
We also come before you to confess we seek peace through war and find security in weapons. We abandon the hungry, sick, and dying, and pursue wealth at all costs. We mistreat the creation you have entrusted to our care.
Forgive us, Holy One, for our hubris and short sighted behavior.
Even so, you love us.
In your grace, that meets us where we are but refuses to leave us where it finds us,
we find our hope to continue to work for a world where all of your children are safe, valued, and free to live as you created them to be. May we find our hope to continue to work for a church as generous and just as God’s grace.
In your grace, we find our hope to preserve your creation and restore it to full beauty and wholeness.
Help us acknowledge the way our privilege has blinded us to injustice;
help us continue to stand with people whose voices have been excluded from the conversation;
remind us there are not voiceless people, only people who will not listen;
help us make room for diversity and listen for your voice in the “other”.
As our meal is served this day, we are mindful of the origin of our food, for the farms, and ranches, and gardens and all who tended to and nurtured its growth. We appreciate the labor of the people who delivered the food from farm to our tables, for those who used their gifts to create a feast, and we are thankful for their hospitality in this place. Give us generous spirits and hearts that are open to seeing your presence in our neighbors.
Guide our conversations this day and our work in the coming months.
Give us your strength, your courage, and your hope that we may continue to be your agents of justice and peace in our communities, our state, and your world.