Our Father...

Mike recently posted what he called a "Lord's Prayer for Justice" that hit me pretty good. There are a hundred or a thousand different ways you could flesh out the Lord's prayer -- this is just one. But it's one that I think fits the Lord's heart and can stand as a conviction and reminder to us of the ways in which we and our world are not like God and his heaven.

If you're not ready to pray, go away and come back to read this later.

Our Father... who always stands with the weak, the powerless, the poor, the abandoned, the sick, the aged, the very young, the unborn, and those who by victim of circumstance, bear the heat of the day.

Who is in heaven... where everything will be reversed, where the first will be last and the last will be first, but where all will be well and every manner of thing will be well.

Holy be Your Name... may we always acknowledge Your holiness, knowing that your ways are not our ways, your standards are not our standards. May our reverence for You pull us out of the selfishness that prevents us from seeing the pain of our neighbor.

Your kingdom come... help us to create a world where, beyond our own needs and hurts, we will do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with you and our neighbors. Teach us our own poverty, and to receive Your kingdom as a gift by the power of Your Spirit.

Your will be done... open our freedom to let you in so that the complete mutuality that characterizes your life might flow through our veins, and thus the life that we help generate may radiate your equal love for all and your special love for the poor. Teach us to partner with you as you renew and redeem creation.

Give us this day... give us life and love; teach us to receive Your life so that we may in turn give it away. Give not just to our own but to everyone, including those who are very different than the narrow “us.” Give us this day and not tomorrow. Do not let us push things off into some distant future so we can excuse our passivity or our apathy. Unveil to us the Presence of Your Kingdom.

Our daily bread... so that each person in the world may have what they need, enough food, clean water, clean air, adequate health care, and access to education. So that we may learn how simple are our true needs, so that we may work for a sustainable world.

And forgive us our trespasses... forgive us our blindness toward our neighbor, our self- preoccupation, our racism, our sexism, and our apathy. Forgive us for our blindness, for believing the lies about progress, for adopting a consumer lifestyle.

As we forgive those who trespass against us... help us to forgive those who take advantage of us. Help us to forgive imperfect parents, impersonal corporations and the systems that wounded them and us.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, For Yours is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory, forever... Amen.

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