A Prayer and Confession of the Church in America During These Days

A prayer of Daniel as a model of repentance.

As I write this, I am reflecting on what took place two weeks ago in Charlottesville, Virginia. My heart breaks over the division, hatred, and strife that we face in this country over the issue of race. I freely confess that I’m no expert or wise sage who can speak profound thoughts about this situation. Others like Ed Stetzer and Karen Swanson and Wendy Martin have spoken more eloquently about the politics and institutional issues at play, calling for change.

I’m simply a Christian who cannot help reacting to such tragedy.

The history of humankind is replete with stories of one group seeking to dominate another. As far back as we have historical record, there is evidence that humans have failed to treat one another with dignity. Any student of the Ancient Near East historical record will recall the constantly shifting boundaries as one empire after another swept through the lands, conquering and dominating everyone in their path. Our more recent world history is no different: one nation colonialized another, often taking those people as slaves, dictators leading genocides, human trafficking…

Why do humans seem so driven to grasp for power by pushing others down?

Even the apostles struggled with this urge. “Jesus asked them, ‘What were you arguing about on the road?’ But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest” (Mark 9:33-34). How many times, I wonder, did Jesus catch them arguing about who would be the greatest?

And are we any better today?

How many church congregational meetings have I sat through, listening to parishioners fight over who gets to have things their way?

How many hours of speech full of judgments, racism, sexism, and classism have …

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