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Bishop Tom Berlin | A Prayer in Response to Racial Hatred in our State | August 28th, 2023


Almighty God, Creator of us all,


In ancient times the Psalmist cried out,

“How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever?

How long will you hide your face from me?

How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart?

How long will my enemy triumph over me?” (Psalm 13:1-2)


This weekend another shooter,

leaving messages of racial hatred in so many locations

that they could not be missed,

took an AR-15 and killed

Angela, AJ, and Jerrald,

three Black people

who were buying groceries and goods,

and going about a normal day.


How long, O LORD, will some have to live in fear,

while others read the news

with docile sadness,

as though a shooting in a Dollar General

is a normal day?


How long, O LORD, before we conform to

your commandment

to love our neighbor as ourselves?


How long before we see your commandment

as more than an aspiration, or suggestion,

or a good intention that we should hold

for some day in the future that we sense

we will never live to see?


The enemy that triumphs over us is

the long and tenacious root of racism

that continues to invade our society.


We confess that we have never fully committed

to removing it fully.

We have laid aside our spade and shovel

when the day got hot and the work felt

too hard or too long.


We pray for those who have lost life

and those they love.

We pray for those who experience fear

that is based on facts.


Stir up in a us a desire to serve you,

to live peacefully with our neighbors,

to be their allies and friends.


As we devote each day to your Son,

our Savior, Jesus Christ,

we pray that his Lordship would lead us

to move beyond acceptance

to the work of transformation,

so that all would know the goodness

of life that is free from fear and death.


Help us to love our neighbor

in ways that bring your kingdom

to earth

as it is in heaven.


Amen.


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