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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 Call of Wisdom (Proverbs 1, selected verses, NRSV)

The Scripture reading is drawn from Sunday’s lesson in the Uniform Lessons Series, ©Summer 2020.

The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel:

For learning about wisdom and instruction,
    for understanding words of insight,
for gaining instruction in wise dealing,
    righteousness, justice, and equity;
to teach shrewdness to the simple,
    knowledge and prudence to the young—
let the wise also hear and gain in learning,
    and the discerning acquire skill

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;
    fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Hear, my child, your father’s instruction,
    and do not reject your mother’s teaching;
10 My child, if sinners entice you,
    do not consent.

20 Wisdom cries out in the street;
    in the squares she raises her voice.
21 At the busiest corner she cries out;
    at the entrance of the city gates she speaks:
22 “How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple?
How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing
    and fools hate knowledge?
32 For waywardness kills the simple,
    and the complacency of fools destroys them;
33 but those who listen to me will be secure
    and will live at ease, without dread of disaster.”

Prayer of Confession

Today’s prayer by Jim Winkler is taken from United Against Racism, ©New York: Friendship Press, 2018, p. 39.

We confess to you once again that we have not loved you with our whole hearts nor with all our minds. Neither have we loved our neighbors as much we love ourselves and those who look like us.

Rather, we have divided ourselves based on false distinctions of skin color and systematized those differences to permit lighter hued peoples to exploit those with a darker hue. This is sin. We know that with your forgiveness comes the responsibility to forego privileges based on lies, theft, cruelty, murder, and slavery.

Give to those who benefit from systemic sin the strength and resolve to make atonement, to rectify injustice, and to walk humbly alongside you.

Release the privileged from the imprisonment of false stereotypes. Grant them vision to see their sisters and brothers as your children and not as “others.”

Give to those who benefit from white privilege the courage to renounce their entitlement and to accept that God’s justice requires not only societal change but alternations in the lives of each person.

Make us instruments of truth and transformation. It is to you we turn for renewal. It is to you we turn for restoration. Lead us to the hour when we will end racism and heal the nation.

May you, O God, our God, bless the houses of worship of our land that they work together to build the beloved community.  Amen.