God of Compassion, have mercy upon us;
We are in bondage to sin, and cannot free ourselves.
We have spent our money on that which is not Food;
We have squandered our time on that which is not Life;
We have offered our hearts to that which is not Love;
We have pledged our allegiance to that which is not God,
and the whole earth suffers for it.
Forgive us, God, and free us from our illusions.
Reveal to us the things that matter,
and lead us into life everlasting.
It is easy to sing praises
when the palm branches wave and spring is in the air.
It is easy to speak out
when it costs us nothing and earns us applause.
It is easy to march
when the sun is shining and the police are friendly.
And it is easy to fall away, when the seasons change.
O God of the broken, God of the cross, God of the scattered stones:
Give us courage enough to stand with You until the bitter end;
and hope enough to rise in the morning, when You begin again.
(NB: Did I write this? Possibly. If you know otherwise, please tell me.)
Forgive us, God, that we compete for your favor,
as if you had not grace enough for all.
Remind us, generous Host,
that the best part of the feast
is in the sharing.
Thanks be to Christ, who invites us all.
We give thanks to you
for the prophets of the past,
but we confess:
your modern-day messengers
make us uncomfortable.
Forgive us, God, and disturb us.
Send your Spirit among us,
that we may hear your Word for us,
in the words of our scripture,
in the whispers of our hearts
in the warnings of your prophets,
and in the weeping of the world.
We have waited long,
and yet we are not ready.
For who can prepare for your coming?
Our houses untidy,
our promises unkept,
our potential unmet,
we are not ready
to meet our Maker.
Yet you, Jesus,
like any other baby,
will be neither hurried nor slowed,
but will be birthed
in the fullness of time.
Give us holy patience, God,
that we might be wholly ready
whenever our labor
God of small things
we marvel that you should care
for the smallest of sparrows
and the tiniest of seeds
while we attend
to the large
and the loud
and the lofty
forgive us, God
to look with tenderness
on all your creatures
for you love us all
though we are
God of all beings, through Christ you bid us:
be wise as serpents, and innocent as doves.
But we insist on choosing between the two.
Forgive us, God, our educated cynicism.
Forgive us, too, our ignorant bliss.
Open our eyes to see the world through yours,
lest we mistake ignorance for innocence,
or worldliness for wisdom.
In Christ’s name we pray, Amen.
(image: http://www.forwallpaper.com/wallpaper/bird-versus-snake-678294.html. And yes, I do realize that is not a dove, but its such a cool picture I couldn’t resist.)