by Sarah Withrow King, ESA
We are mothers and fathers;
we are sisters and brothers;
we are a family connected by your love.
God, we acknowledge that we are all your children. Each of us created in your holy image. Each of us created to love you and to love one another.
God, we praise you as the creator and caretaker of all children. You see all of your children. You love all of your children. You want every child to flourish in communities of care and concern. We praise you, Holy One.
God, we confess that we have failed to love well. We confess that we see your children with eyes clouded by past hurts and prejudice, by fear and uncertainty. We see one another not as recipients of your precious love, but as enemies and strangers. We see one another, not as children see other children, with curiosity, joy, and excitement, but as enemies view enemies, with animosity, anxiety, and mistrust.
God, we mourn for your children.
We mourn especially for children who nurse at their mother’s breast while rockets scream through the sky;
For children confused by prejudice, unaware of the history written on their forehead.
For children who cannot go to school; for children who hunger and thirst; and for children who are sick but cannot access medical care.
God, we mourn for your children who live soaked in fear, instead of your love.
Lord Jesus, help us to love well. Help us to see the old and the young; the Christian, the Muslim, and the Jew; the Syrian, the Israeli, the Iranian, the Pakistani, the Japanese, the American…every body as part of your body. We love you, Jesus.