A prayer for the twenty-fourth Sunday in ordinary time.

God,

We are wanting to be looked for.
Instead of thinking we have to find you,
thinking we have to be earnestly seeking you,
we wish that you were actually looking for us.

That you wanted us.

Or instead of thinking you are searching for us with the malicious intensity of a predator, trying to take us down, we wish you were seeking us with the tenderness of a parent.

Forgetting, of course, that the stories you tell us about yourself have that tenderness.

You created the relationships, parent and child, lover and beloved, shepherd and sheep, to help us understand your invisible devotion.

But we forget. And are deceived.

And we think that you have forgotten us at best or are punishing us.

But you love us. You love being connected to us. You love listening to us, talking with us. You love us.

Thank you.

Help us see you.

Help us recognize you.

Help us stop telling you what you should do.

Help us stop defining your love in our terms.

Help us rest in you.

As you carry us home. Again.

Amen.

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Luke 15:1-10