GOOD AND GRACIOUS GOD, you invite us to recognize and reverence your divine image and likeness in ourselves and our neighbors. Enable us to see the reality of racism and free us to challenge and uproot it from our society, our world and ourselves.
We are more than capable of judging whether we are a racist, yet we try to keep it in obscurity in order to hide our need to repent. God, our Father, help us to see who we are in your eyes, and where we are lacking. Help us to know we need to repent. Help us to see others as you see them. Our eyes get blurred sometimes and we go off track, but you, O Lord, have eyes that see the truth. Help people to walk in that truth: the truth of love and harmony and peace.
Our world has been riveted with bullets from guns that kill because of hate and fear. Lord, help us to live together as you intended us to do. Help us to see these people we hate and fear as sisters and brothers. Make us one with you and one with one another. Lord, unite us, your people, so that we will be slow to harm, but quick to embrace.
And when we embrace may it be a time of healing and reconciliation. Drive out the prejudices, arrogance and pride. Move all powers and complaints of jealousy and malaise toward one another and replace it with love, family and friendship. Give the people understanding and the knowledge whereby they can choose for themselves who to serve with Agape love.
Lord, let the people choose this day who they will serve. Teach us to serve you and you only. When we can all come together as one, when we have stuck our swords in the sands of time, when you O Lord, have returned to give your Church rest, we will rejoice. Until then, help us to live together here. Help us to make a difference in the lives of others. Help us, O Lord, to love our neighbor as you love us.
Help us to remember, refocus, revisit, revive and be reassured that you are the One to whom we can turn. Help us to realize it’s not my brother, not my sister, but me, O Lord, who needs to be readjusted and who needs to pray and stand up to racism and prejudices and say, “No more!” It is up to all us to bring about change. We pray that change will make a difference in the lives of the people who cannot, will not, do not love in Jesus’ name.
Gracious Lord Jesus, we love you. We pray that your Holy Spirit will come and help us love as you love. Save us from ourselves. Help us to live together as members of the greater world of Jesus Christ. Give us strength and empower us by your Spirit to serve you by loving others. Make us one family guided by our Holy Spirit toward love, peace and joy.
We praise you and we thank you for your grace and mercy that connects us and makes one in Christ Jesus. Amen.
The Rev. Barbara Doyle has served as a United Methodist pastor since 1966. She currently pastors Shady Grove United Methodist Church and Meadowview United Methodist Church in the Abingdon, Virginia, area. She has a bachelor’s degree in social work ...
Justice Profiles: This is the first story in a new series. En espanol ABINGDON, Va. -- The Rev. Barbara Doyle spent the last two weekends at peaceful events proclaiming “black lives matter.” On May 31, she participated in a march through downtown ...