Father, at this moment in our history, remind us that we are Your sons and daughters, adopted by You through the blood of your Son. Impress upon us that being your children makes us brothers and sisters, family, regardless of race. Reveal to us the great joy that is Yours as You behold the prism of creativity in which You made us.
Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior of the whole world, we praise You–who was without sin–but who became sin so that we might become the righteousness of God. You have restored our right standing with God. Help us now to reconcile our selves to one another. In your humanity, your Word reveals the touch of love and power which fell upon the Jew, the Gentile, the Greek, the European, the mixed-race Samaritan, the African…to all who encountered you at a multi-ethnic crossroads of the world. May we remember that it is You who paid the price for us to be in your eternal family, your brothers and sisters, and that we have done nothing to earn this.
Holy Spirit, Guardian and Counselor of the Church, lead us to be a beacon of peace to the world in the coming days. Regardless of what the world will pronounce, be the guardian of our hearts and our mouths. Help us to be people who truly forgive, knowing this does not mean erasing the past but forging a new and a holy future in spite of the past. Help us to do the difficult work of forgiving the sins of our ancestors. Help us to do the difficult work of forgiving and correcting deliberate acts of in justice and inequality that have persisted. Help us to do the difficult work of forgiving and correcting the insensitive and unintentional slights we inflict upon one another without even realizing we have done it. Lead us in courage to pursue relationship with one another so that we might not fear what we do not understand about “the other” any longer. Lead us into true, holy community with one another so that your Church might be an example to the world of what You desire eternally.
May we look to places like Rwanda where, in spite of holocaust, victims and murderers are forging a new, holy future together in Your Name. May we release the individualistic, American pride we so often model that we can figure this out on our own without You. May we remember that our ultimate allegiance is to You, and that You are the Head of our family. May we remember that being American and being a Christ-follower are two entirely different things, and that neither privilege was granted without great cost.