There is no one who knows us better than our families.
And, yet, do our families really know us or do they know who we used to be?
Do they know how we have changed over time?
Or do they only know us how they want us to be?
You know us, Father, you knew us before we were born
and you know how we have grown since then
and you know how we still need to grow.
As we grow in this life, help us to see what is important in life.
Give us the strength to speak up as Jesus did when he spoke up for inclusion.
Today, many say that being inclusive is a sign of political correctness,
something we should not tolerate, something that makes us weak.
Remind us, Father God, that your Son taught us to include everyone,
to value everyone, without judgment.
Remind us, Mother God, that we are all your children,
each of us loved and each of us uniquely cherished.
When we respect each other, when we celebrate and accept our differences,
we are respecting you and acting as you taught us.
We may not have the strength or the character to live our entire lives as did Nelson Mandela,
but we can stand up in individual moments of oppression and speak up for the powerless.
When we see a bully taunt their victim,
encourage us to stand up in protest.
When we hear a racist joke,
encourage us to stand up and say we will not listen to hate.
When we notice inequality in social programs,
encourage us to ask our politicians why and to demand change.
When we see someone being ignored,
encourage us to reach out to that person and raise them up.
When we see a child without the ability to receive a quality education,
encourage us to ensure that all receive an education regardless of their school district.
When we see cities without safe drinking water,
encourage us to ask ourselves why lower-income populations are treated less fairly than those with wealth.
Give us the voice to speak for those without a voice.
Give us the ability to hear the cries of those around us in pain
and to find ways to provide comfort to them.
Give us the strength to be your children, to be your body of Christ.
Give us the courage to stand up to the majority
when we know that the minority is in the right.
As your children, we support those among us who are in pain and in need of your healing touch.
We ask that you be with ___ in particular.
We are your children, Lord.
We are your family, the body of Christ.
As your family, open our eyes to see each other,
to see each other as we really are.
And as your children, we use the words that your Son taught us,