God of all peoples,
We come before you today, a hardy but small group gathered in your presence, gathered to worship you and thank you for all that you have done and will do for your people.
We rely on you because you are a steadfast God. And, yet, God…
And yet, God, we turn on our televisions and read the news online. We hear of more violence and impending war in Ukraine. We pray that Russia does not escalate matters in the Ukraine but we know our righteous indignation is hollow.
As Americans we know we have intervened in the affairs of sovereign nations when it has suited our purposes. As beneficiaries of power and wealth, our nation has manipulated matters in places like Guatemala not as a matter of helping but because it suits our country’s needs.
Help us to hear the words of the prophet Micah through the ears of the Guatemalan and Ukrainian people as the prophet calls out,
Hear this, leaders of the house of Jacob, rulers of the house of Israel, you who reject justice and make crooked all that is straight, who build Zion with bloodshed and Jerusalem with injustice! Micah 3: 9-10 CEB
Help us to hear the voices of the Guatemalan and Ukrainian and so many other peoples through the Psalmist who cries out,
“Don’t let the feet of arrogant people walk all over me; don’t let the hands of the wicked drive me off.” Psalm 36:11 CEB
Help us to hold our leaders accountable to your ways of love, your ways of justice, your desire for peace for all of your people not just those of us who live in powerful nations. Lead us toward personal and communal actions that respect and honor the dignity of all peoples within and outside our own nation.
In our worries, in our feelings of guilt, in our feelings of helplessness, we turn to the One through whom we know you best. We turn to you through Jesus.
I offered this prayer at the Condon United Church of Christ on March 2, 2014.