Sunday, September 24, 2017

Pastoral Prayer for Our Common Need

based on Matthew 20:1-16

Faithful God, we confess that we don't often understand or even like how generous you are. We read and hear of your reckless intention to share gifts of love, presence, and forgiveness with anyone who will receive them, regardless of who they are or what they've done. If it were up to us, we'd screen candidates more carefully, only letting in those properly vetted and most deserving to enter your kingdom. We would build big, beautiful walls to keep out the ones whom we believe will only abuse and exploit what you wish to give to all.

All of this only shows, O God, how much we are in need of those same gifts ourselves. Our inability to embrace your gracious regard for those unlike us means that we still have not yet come into full receipt of and appreciation for how your Spirit is changing us. We are so preoccupied with how you love others that we miss out on the blessing of that same love for ourselves. We want to do better, serve better, see others more as you see all of us: creation in need of redemption.

O God, may we be open to your gifts, and may we openly share them knowing their source and their transforming effect. May we do both with wonder and thankfulness, catching your vision of a more grace-filled future.