Inspired by the Book of Lamentations
Most Heavenly Father,
We lament the coupling of our allegiance to Christ as Lord with a trust in Caesar, as if the halls of power, the chambers of government, and the adherence to a particular party and its agenda would usher in the kingdom. We are all guilty.
The elders of the church in the USA sit in their studies and pews, grounded in silence; they have thrown dust on their heads, complicit in the cause of their grief and disrobed themselves of the ease of their ignorant contentment; their adherents have been humbled in their purpose.
Our eyes are spent with weeping; our stomachs nauseously churn; because of the destruction of the good name of Christ corruptively co-opted for a cause contrary to his name.
The prophets of the church have seen for you false and deceptive visions of a kingdom unmoored from its heavenly origins and wed to a religious nationalism that exchanges mercy for might, humility for hubris, and justice for the weak and oppressed for the self-justification of the powerful and mighty; they have not exposed your iniquity to restore your fortunes, but have seen for you oracles that are false and misleading.
Arise, cry out in the evening, at the beginning of the nightly news, the tweets, feeds, and reports of the happenings of the passing day! Pour out your heart like water before the presence of the Lord! Lift your hands to him and not another for the soul of the church and it’s children who faint and hunger after the truth on every street and byway of this nation.
Let us test and examine our ways, and return to the Lord! Let us lift up our hearts and hands to God in heaven. Restore your church in the nation in which we dwell to its true and rightful purpose to seek justice, love mercy, and walk humbly in your presence, to give allegiance to none but you alone; then shall we be restored! Renew our days as you designed when you poured out your Spirit from on high to empower us in the enactment of your reign.
May we once again be a people set apart for the promotion of righteousness and peace to live your kingdom now as it is in heaven. May we remember that your desire is for the healing of the nations and the invitation for all to sit and feast at your table and that our call is to welcome with gracious and hospitable hands all who are weary and heavy laden to find rest in you.
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. May the Lord be our portion. Therefore, we have hope.
In the Name of Our One and Only Lord, Jesus, Amen.
The Lates From Our Blog
Check out articles, featured illustrations, and book reviews on all different topics related to ministry.
I don't know about you, but I've always had a hard time spending extended periods of time in prayer. Our lectionary author this week, Cody Sandahl shares his own struggles with a deep prayer life. And yet, he argues, this doesn't mean because it's not a strength, that...
Most children have already, or are about to, start heading to school. Education is one of those "givens" where I live, no one really questions whether or not it we should educate our children. Americans (and I imagine others) feel so strongly about this that you can...
A few weeks ago I brought up the topic of vocation, or calling. Right around that time, Frederick Buechner, whose work I had included in that email, passed away at the age of 96. His works have been significant for innumerable people, both directly and indirectly,...