Be Whole (1 John 4:7-21)

We are your children, made in your image,
formed by you and loved by you.
Help us to feel that love within ourselves.
Open our hearts to accept your love freely.
Help us to love and to accept ourselves
as you have shaped us.
None of us can claim perfection or live up to your teachings.
And yet you still love us and give us grace.
Help us to feel that grace deep within our souls.
And remind us to share your grace with others.

We are your children
but we live in a world that is separated and divided.
A world where many feel unwelcome or marginalized.
A social climate that rewards materialism and
casts blame on those who are impoverished.
A political agenda that reinforces the fear of the “other.”
A world that celebrates the rich, the powerful and
the beautiful.
None of us can claim perfection or live up to your teachings.
And yet you still love us and give us grace.
Help us to reject the world around us and
to see your image in the faces of those we meet.
Jesus taught us that there is no “other.”
We are to act as one people, one community.

We are your children
and as you support us, we support those around us.
We ask that you be with ___ and share your healing touch with them.
In love, we lift up those who have gone unnamed
and have not yet realized that they are made whole in your love and grace.
We ask also that you be with us, a white congregation,
and begin to open our eyes
to the ways our society is not fair to our brothers and sisters of color.
Help us to see how our known and unknown biases
shape our interactions and our beliefs.
Take away our defenses so we can share honestly with one another.
Give us the courage and strength to have the conversations that will bring us together as one.

Jesus taught us that there is no “other.”
Gracious God, we lift up our voices today
asking for your help to make this world your world.
We use the words Jesus taught us, saying “Our Father…”

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