Even as our world continues to wrestle with the ramifications of COVID-19 and the economic crisis, we are bombarded with acts of escalating racism. As people of faith we must ACT NOW to end racism— action that is accompanied by prayer for guidance, healing, and protection. These posts are offered to unite our actions and our prayers for the sake of God’s justice.
The Gifts of Wisdom (Proverbs 9:1-6, 8-10, 13-18, NRSV)
The Scripture reading is drawn from Sunday’s lesson for June 28, 2020 ©Uniform Lessons Series, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA.
9 Wisdom has built her house,
she has hewn her seven pillars.
2 She has slaughtered her animals, she has mixed her wine,
she has also set her table.
3 She has sent out her servant-girls, she calls
from the highest places in the town,
4 “You that are simple, turn in here!”
To those without sense she says,
5 “Come, eat of my bread
and drink of the wine I have mixed.
6 Lay aside immaturity, and live,
and walk in the way of insight.”
8 A scoffer who is rebuked will only hate you;
the wise, when rebuked, will love you.
9 Give instruction to the wise, and they will become wiser still;
teach the righteous and they will gain in learning.
10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.
13 The foolish woman is loud;
she is ignorant and knows nothing.
14 She sits at the door of her house,
on a seat at the high places of the town,
15 calling to those who pass by,
who are going straight on their way,
16 “You who are simple, turn in here!”
And to those without sense she says,
17 “Stolen water is sweet,
and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.”
18 But they do not know that the dead are there,
that her guests are in the depths of Sheol.
A Prayer for Place-Making
Today’s prayer by Randy G. Litchfield, Browning Professor of Christian Education, Methodist Theological School in Ohio, is from United Against Racism: Churches for Change, ©New York: Friendship Press, 2018, p. 127-128. You may purchase the book through Friendship Press, on their website at store.friendship-press.org.
Our sustaining God, you are the great I Am, the Place of all that is and all we are. In you, we find perfect love, justice, peace, and courage.
Our redeeming God, you are the great I Am, the Place of restarts. In you, our brokenness and our giftedness open to your purposes.
Our creating God, you are the great I Am, the Place of possibilities and hope. In you, the vision of the Kin-dom calls and claims us.
I Am. . . Place, through the ages, your emerging Kin-dom challenges the empire of this world. Freedom challenges slavery. Liberty challenges oppression. Giftedness challenges deprivation. Agency challenges addiction. Community challenges isolation. Compassion challenges dehumanization. Hope challenges despair. Shalom challenges violence. Life abundant challenges death.
Place-making God, make us fit partners in your reconciling and liberating work. Empower us to work with you as a people fashioning the places we dwell and the routes we travel in light of the Kin-dom. In our times, help us challenge empire in the form of racism.
May our prayers open us to your vision, provide discernment, and ground us in your presence to empower us for facing racism.
May our reflections pierce self-deceptions, name systems, and foster strategies that enable us to expose racism.
May our study of sacred texts and the saints remind us of your faithfulness, form our imagination, and grant us courage to declare racism in all its forms as sin.
May our formation of character create empathy, build solidarity with others, and develop commitment to confront racism.
May our actions embody hope, offer redemption, and lead to transformation that helps us end racism.
I Am. . . Place, make us place-makers, and may the places we make be reflections of your Kin-dom. Amen.