A prayer for the twentieth Sunday in ordinary time.

God.

We’re stopped now.

Our bodies at rest, sitting or standing, or laying here. But our minds are not at rest, racing around a track to catch understanding of what is happening, why we are in this situation, now, in this place. Our hearts are beating faster with the adrenaline of fear of what could have happened, what might happen, what has happened.

walking outWe are stopping, but we are not at rest.

We are afraid that for all our work, we do not have good grapes, and so we worry harder. We are afraid that our difficulties are punishment for bad work, for not paying attention, and so we promise to do more. We are fearful and frustrated that our small steps are not big enough to change the problems we are facing fast enough. We are afraid that pain and death will be more than we can endure.

We are afraid.

We confess.

We confess that we haven’t talked to you about this sooner. We confess that we haven’t seen that our work is a response to your graciousness, not a cause for it. We confess that we haven’t listened for your love as much as we have feared your lecture. We confess that we aren’t sure exactly what to confess, but we’re sure there must be something awful. Otherwise you would do more to make us happy. Which is another thing to confess. The belief that we should be happier. We confess that knowing about all the people who lived and died living in faith does give us courage as much as feel bad for how little faith we must have.

Forgive us, God.

Or better,

Help us accept the forgiveness we already have through Jesus.
Help us accept the love you see us with, the identity we have in you, the courage you offer.
Help us fix our eyes on you, Jesus, who walked through death and resurrection first and best. Help us see you all the way through.

Amen.

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Reflecting the texts for today from Isaiah 5:1-7 and Hebrews 11:29-12:2.