Sunday, April 6, 2014


In your Holy Presence,
  we confess that something strange and ominous
                    is happening among us,
        so strange that we cannot understand,
        so ominous that we cannot control.

We are like Dazzling David and Smooth Solomon
       who presided over social transformations
           that soon were out of hand.

We are like them as we watch wave after wave
       of new power and new money,
           while our infrastructure disintegrates,
           and the poor grow more desperate
                  amid our surpluses.

We are like them as we participate in social differentiation
         of class and mass---
         we the educated, the privileged, the entitled,
                 and we scarcely know or notice
                        the lesser ones who remain unnamed
                                and nearly invisible.

We are like them as we sort out tasks and assignments;
    we sit in our air conditioning and move paper
       but sweat only a little---
             except at leisure.
And they sweat and work and sometimes seethe,
     fearing the paper we move that disenfranchises them.

We are like Dazzling David and Smooth Solomon
       on the way in this great economy and this great church,
We are like them, grateful, but unnoticing. Sometimes we wonder
    if we will learn anything soon enough.

Good, hard, demanding, generous God;
    we do not ask to be dazzled,
    we do not ask to be made smooth in success.
  We ask rather for courage to be faithful,
    to submit our privilege and entitlement to you,
               before it is too late.

It is your holiness that subverts our best convictions,
    and so we submit to your haunting as best we can,
    haunted as was Jesus by purposes beyond his own.

Prayers for a Privileged People, Walter Brueggemann

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