In follow-up to this past Sunday’s scripture – Jesus’ baptism – and in response to unsettledness and violence in the world, here is a prayer offered by Nadia Bolz Weber:
God, You once tore open the heavens and descended as a dove upon Jesus and a dirty river full of repentant people. I don’t want to tell you how to do your job, but now would be a good time to tear open the heaven and send down that dove again.
Send your Holy Spirit to stir up repentance in your people:
Who would rather double down than admit we were wrong; Who fill with pride at being one of the few who “know the real truth”; Who only manage to point to others and never ourselves, (and are maybe a tiny bit grateful for the obvious, overt racism, violence and xenophobia of others since it conveniently takes the spotlight off of our own)
I pray that you send your Holy Spirit comfort your people:
Who are grieving our dead; Whose rightful rage might be corroding the edges of our hearts – because those hearts are still needed elsewhere; Who have had to break up with abusers or draw boundaries with unstable people in the past and know in our bodies how ugly this all gets; Who have joyous news they feel they cannot share; Who are trying (and failing) to still love those who voted differently than themselves; Who literally or figuratively find themselves (yet again) sweeping up the detritus of others’ racism, violence, and ignorance
Send down that dove, Lord, but help us look to the needs of our neighbor and not to the escape hatch of heaven to find her. Amen