Sunday, July 03, 2016

Prayer for Pentecost 8

Faithful God, we are called this time of year to ponder and celebrate freedom. We do so with parades and fireworks, with tributes and music, with cookouts and mattress sales. We express thanks for rights to worship, to speak, to write, to dissent, to purchase, to participate or refrain. So many liberties have been granted, and yet we confess we don't always use them well: at times we neglect our responsibility in the midst of what we have.

As disciples, we strive to remember Jesus' call to exhibit rights in faithful ways. We are free to worship, yet called to invite rather than coerce. We are free to speak, yet called to build up rather than destroy. We are free to purchase, yet called to resist idolatry of our possessions. We are free to participate or refrain, yet called to do so in the name of justice and peace rather than hatred or bigotry.

We give thanks for freedom, yet know that Christ beckons us to wisdom about what it entails. And so we turn to you acknowledging our selfishness and trusting in your transforming grace.

God who frees us from constricting old ways of living into new possibility, help us seek your forgiveness and presence in all we enjoy and all with which we struggle. Amid so many available paths that we are free to choose, grant us clarity to select the one Jesus walks. Amen.