I laughed a little when I woke up Sunday morning and realized that I hadn’t published a prayer for the sixth Sunday after Epiphany. In fact, I hadn’t even finished it. I was working on other things. On Friday morning, I woke up and realized that the night before I forgot that Paul had prepared a post already. I had read it. But in the fatigue of Thursday evening I forgot.
That makes the first line of the prayer I finally wrote for Sunday so important. Because it’s true. We aren’t perfect.
We come to you today aware that we are not perfect.
We hate to say that out loud, not because we think we are perfect, we know we are not.
But when we say it out loud, we are a little afraid that you or someone else will say, “It’s about time you noticed.”
And will scold us and mock us and shame us.
And as much as we know they are right,
and are already scolding and mocking and shaming ourselves,
it will still hurt.
And we know that you’ve said that you love us.
But the truth is, we don’t believe it.
Or we are waiting for the rest of the sentence, the one that starts with, “I love you, but.”
We are filling in the rest.
We forget that this is what you say:
“I love you AND I died for you AND I’m with you AND I’m coming for you AND you will get sick and die AND it doesn’t mean judgment, it means you are human AND I’m with you.”
Paul was right, of course, that your overwhelming love sounds foolish and leaves us speechless.
Help us have glimpses of that love today.
Help us live in the peace it provides.
Through Christ our Lord.
Prayer reflects a little of 1 Corinthians 2. And photo credit to Hope Swanson Smith.