A Community Prayer offered at Metropolitan Community Church of Washington, D.C.

First Sunday of Advent, November 27, 2016 *

Holy One,
as we gather in Your name and your love,
in expectant hope for Good News You have for us
through music, teaching, prayer, community and grace
at this special Advent time, the birthing
of our new, transcendent church year,
we acknowledge Your presence here—
we don’t need to ask You to come,
you are here! And we are grateful.

But we do ask You to help us
be open to You in our midst,
to trust Your whispers in our ears and hearts,
to live out loud, to dare holy boldness
in a world filled with fear,
a world that encourages us
to think small, even to be small
in our vision and our yearning.
But You are the big God, the God of all,
the God who frees captives, the God who responds to hunger
not just for food but for justice and peace,
the God who passes through walls and borders
and urges us to do the same.

Mother/Father, Birther of the cosmos,
You create all that breathes, and so much more,
and charge us with care for all You create:
yet so many are afraid, even in this room,
many filled with terror because
others, including some of our nation’s leaders
and people who live near or even with us,
people we love in this very congregation of the faithful,
have said things that sound harsh
or done things that cause us anxiety;
and we too have felt and said and done things
that create division and angst and fear.
We know this is not Your way, not the way of peace
and plenty and beauty and creation,
so we confess that we have fallen, and fall, short
and seek Your forgiveness here, now,
as we will do again many more times.

But still, we pledge to listen better, first always to You,
and to each other as well, knowing that peace comes
to those who not only do not give into violence
of thought, word, and deed, but also  
open themselves to the pain, joy and hope,
the yearnings, of others for peace and for plenty.

And we know You call us—even as we listen to discordant voices
and seek to engage them in difficult conversations—
to speak Your truth, our truths, to bear the cause
of equality and compassion and justice, surely freedom from fear and want,
from oppression that arises out of dread of difference—
different looking skins, genders, sexualities, abilities, classes,
histories, nations, faiths, and more—
for those long denied and left out of the bounty
You ordain for all Your people.

Help us, then, O Holy One of so many names,
to learn better how to be Your people
and thus to help restore the world
in Your name and Your image, renewing ourselves and our society
so the world we see and create, the world we strive to share,
is the one you called into being so long ago in Eden.
Thank you, God, for that world, and help us, God,
to make it so.

In all your names, especially in the name of Jesus,
our Brother and Friend, Guide and Constant Companion,
Amen. Asé.  May it be so. 

* A recording is available here

©Robin Gorsline 2016

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