Sunday, October 21, 2018


The priest says, "Almighty God...from whom no secrets are
   We rush to the next phrase but now linger there.
We are rich conundrums of secrets,
   we weave a pattern of lies in order to be
                            well thought of,
    we engage in subterfuge about our truth.
We carry old secrets too painful to utter,
                             too shameful to acknowledge,
                             too burdensome to bear,
     of failures we cannot undo,
     of alienations we regret but cannot fix,
     of grandiose exhibits we cannot curb.
And you know them.
     You know them all.
     And so we take a deep sign in your presence,
         no longer needing to pretend and
                 cover up and

We mostly do not have big sins to confess,
      only modest shames that do not
         fit our hoped-for selves.

And then we find that your knowing is more
       powerful than our secrets.
You know and do not turn away,
       and our secrets that seemed too powerful
          are emptied of strength,
       secrets that seemed too burdensome
              and now less severe.

We marvel that when you find us out
        you stay with us,
     taking us seriously,
     taking our secrets soberly,
          but not ultimately,
     overpowering our little failure
     with your massive love
           and abiding patience.

We long to be fully, honestly
      exposed to your gaze of gentleness.
   In the moment of your knowing
           we are eased and lightened,
   and we fell the surge of joy move in our bodies,
     because we are not ours in cringing
         but yours in communion.

We are yours and find the truth before you
    makes us free for
      wonder, love, and praise---and new life.

Walter Brueggemann, Prayers for a Privileged People


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