Love your enemy, you say.
Pray for those who persecute you, you say.
A theological exertion of the will–
To wish change upon the Other.
A prodding of your Spirit to move ‘them’ towards the right ends.
She must be lazy: in need of a prompt or invocation.
At any rate, the Divine Will is certain;
The Direction clear.
And my intercession will get Her moving.
So I pray.
She gets up and stretches
and turns towards me.
Amused, She laughs–
With a yawn of boredom
She points to a new interpretation–
instead of intercession
how about empathy?
To pray as your enemy would–
on their behalf.
And Divine Judgment shifts
its gaze back to me
The prayer for intercession
is a prayer of confession.
This is what it means to pray for my enemies.
And now I don’t know who they are.
We are a people of habit
finding comfort in routine.
We want our time
to be stable and dependable
to be steady
to be certain.
But we gather together in anticipation of change.
Shake us from our need for certainty and routine!
Give more light to our days
So that we can grow with the Spring:
upward and outward
in ever widening circles and postures.
Uproot our stagnant perspectives.
Shake our foundations.
Teach us to embrace change.
And as we encounter these holy changes
teach us how best to love one another.
Hear now the prayers of those in the congregation
who have experienced or are experiencing growth and change.
[read aloud the prayer cards]
And those prayers which are too tender
or too close to the heart to be spoken aloud…
Hear those prayers as well!
[pause for silent prayer]
And with the growing light
that new every morning
is your love, O Great God of Light
and all day long you are working for good in the world.
Stir up in us a desire to serve
To live peaceably
And to devote our days to walking
in the living traditions of Jesus.