Thursday, December 22, 2016


In our 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.

Walter Brueggemann-Prayers for a Privileged People


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