A prayer for the twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

God.

“Why did you bring us here to die?”

That ‘s what the people of Israel asked Moses.

That’s what we ask you all the time.

“We’re here because you brought us here and now we’re going to die.”

Although usually we mean that things aren’t going our way.

You gave us this job and now the people are aggravating. Why did you bring me here to die?

You put us together and now we are falling apart. Why did you bring us here to die?

You brought us to this town, we thought. Why did you bring us here to die?

You gave me this dream, this desire, this falling apart future. Why did you bring us here to die?

Though sometimes, God, it really is about death.

My child won’t make it through the night. Why did you bring us to this death?

It’s hard, God.

And it’s really hard to hold in one hand both the grief and the knowledge that you, Jesus, came specifically with a humiliating death in mind.

Why did you come here to die?

So we hold them in two hands, our frustration and your model.

We ask you to help us find the ways to love the ones we don’t love with your powerful and willing self-surrender. Not giving in or giving up, but choosing to surrender for a better good than either of us, than any of us, can comprehend.

And we ask this, knowing that it’s harder than we can imagine sometimes, and knowing that you have done the unimaginable first.

Setting aside your privilege and power and status for us.

Help us understand enough to follow you.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Amen

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Reflecting on Exodus 17:1-7 and Philippians 2:1-13