Created in God’s Image (Mark 10:35-45)

We call ourselves your followers, Lord.
We are your children, we call ourselves Christians.
Remind us what that really means.
We were told to love one another as we love ourselves. 

We are to love our neighbor as we love ourselves.
But who do we consider to be our neighbor?
The person who looks like us, talks like us
     and shares our common experience?
Or is our neighbor a different color?
Does our neighbor make less money than we do?
Does our neighbor speak the same language that we speak?
Does our neighbor have more kids than they can afford to feed?
Did our neighbor drop out of high school?
Has our neighbor escaped a country full of violence
     to find safety in the United States?
Take our judgmental views from our thoughts, Lord.
Help us to see each other as you see us, without bias and in love.
It can be easy for us to look down upon others in an attempt to build up
     our own status and self-importance.

Help us, Father, to treat each other as your children, as our brothers and sisters in Christ.
We do not choose our starting point in life,
     and each of us makes both good and bad choices as we travel
     through life's paths.
Our wealth and comfort in this life is not our right,
     nor is someone else's poverty their penalty for a failed life.
Remind us that none of us are better than another,
     and remind us that we may see each other through biased eyes.
Help us to see your image in the face of those around us.
You created us in your image,
     we are each your children, regardless of what we look like,
     regardless of our talents and skills.
You created us in your image.
We are your children, each of us deeply loved and uniquely cherished.

As we look at others, it is natural for us to classify others, to compare
     ourselves to others.
Remind us when we do that, we will give in to either envy or
     disappointment.
These are not feelings that you want us to experience.
God, you are love, light and grace. That is what you want us to experience,
     to be.
We are unique, created in your image, and each of us possess gifts and
     talents given to us for a purpose.
As your children, we know that you are with us always and we ask that you
     be with __
We know that you have reached out to us in love, and given us your son to
     share your teachings.
For those of us in need of healing, we ask that your Holy Spirit flows
     through us, healing us, strengthening us, making us whole.

As your children, we know that we are equal with one another,
     we know that we were each created in your image and that each of us
     fulfills your particular plan here on earth.
As your children, we celebrate that you gave us your Son to teach us,
     to share your love and grace, and to build a community of believers.
As your followers, we use the words given to us by your Son,
     "Our Father..."

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