Litany for Kneeling

God, here we are:
Skin-cloaked souls
Fragile and vulnerable
Wrapped up in our humanity.

We see from a human perspective,
We judge by limited input.
But you’ve always seen from Love’s vantage point,
High above our vision.

Somewhere along the way
We forgot our true home
Our citizenship in your kingdom (1)
Our first love (2)
Our debt of belonging
Our deepest allegiance...

To Christ
Who knelt to pray
Who emptied himself
Who endured torture
Who lay down in a grave
At the hands of Injustice.

Let those who kneel
Kneel reverently.
Let those who kneel
Kneel passionately.
Let those who kneel
Know to whom they bend.

Help us to see more and better.
Help us to respond to all with Love that listens.

Nations may boast of their tanks, flags, and bombs
But we boast in the name of the Lord and the Christ (3):
The Lord who opposes the proud (4),
The Lord who works justice for the oppressed (5).
We pledge allegiance to Christ and his Kingdom.
We kneel before Christ and his mercy.

Amen

1) Philippians 3:20
2) Revelations 2:4
3) Psalm 20:7, Galatians 6:14
4) 1 Peter 5:5, Proverbs 3:34
5) Psalm 103:6

Litany for a Terrorized City

*I originally wrote this litany as a response to the attack on Brussels on March 22, 2016. I later learned that many other places in the world were attacked by ISIS during the surrounding time period, attacks that never made headline news. This litany can be used to pray for folks in any location that has experienced terrorism. I wish it weren't true that we might have use for a general prayer for terrorized cities. Christ, have mercy.

God, we cry out to You on behalf of the people of [Brussels, Belgium].
     For the families and friends of those killed in the attacks, we cry.
     For those wounded, we cry.
     For the bystanders, those shocked and terrified, we cry.
     For the emergency workers, giving tirelessly of themselves, we cry.
     For those in government and law enforcement, we cry.
     For the residents of the city, stranded and immobilized, we cry.
     For a world beset by evil, we cry.

We commend the souls lost into Your care,
And ask for healing and comfort for those that remain.

These events bring us into a place of questioning:
     Of Your goodness
     Of Your sovereignty
     Of the nature of humanity
     Of the future of the world
     Of how we might move forward.

We commend those questions into Your care,
     Asking You for wisdom
     Asking You for hope
     Asking You for courage to continue on in good work
     Asking You for help in overcoming
     Asking You for comfort in trouble
     Asking You for a heart of love toward our enemies
     Asking You for justice.

We acknowledge that our lives are precious, vulnerable, and often short.
We acknowledge that safety is never guaranteed.
We acknowledge our inability to perfectly follow Jesus’ example
     of meekness, forgiveness, and peacemaking.
We acknowledge that when Jesus took upon himself the wrongdoing of the world,
he took terrorism also.

We look toward the completion of Jesus’ work.
We look toward the fullness of Your kingdom come,
And Your will done on earth as it is in heaven. 

We look toward the day when the whole world is aligned with the law of love.

Be near to the brokenhearted, close in Your compassion and lovingkindness, Generous in Your giving of understanding.

Amen