O GOD, YOU MADE US IN YOUR OWN IMAGE AND REDEEMED US THROUGH JESUS YOUR SON: LOOK WITH COMPASSION ON THE WHOLE HUMAN FAMILY; TAKE AWAY THE ARROGANCE AND HATRED WHICH INFECT OUR HEARTS; BREAK DOWN THE WALLS THAT SEPARATE US; UNITE US IN BONDS OF LOVE; AND WORK THROUGH OUR STRUGGLE AND CONFUSION TO ACCOMPLISH YOUR PURPOSES ON EARTH; THAT, IN YOUR GOOD TIME, ALL NATIONS AND RACES MAY SERVE YOU IN HARMONY AROUND YOUR HEAVENLY THRONE; THROUGH JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD. AMEN.
Dear sisters and brothers in Christ,
The prayer above is designated for “the Human Family” on page 815 of the Book of Common Prayer. I was struck by its inclusion on Tuesday night as your vestry, staff and lay leaders prayed Compline together at the close of election day. The Collect’s words continued to ring through my ears during the panic and confusion on Wednesday AND Thursday AND Friday this week. When will it end, and what does this mean?
Of course, we are all one Human Family . . . but how well have we been showing that of late? How effective have we been at treating one another like family?
Perhaps more this year than any other year, we approach the liturgical season of Advent (in 2020!) well aware of the fundamental bankruptcy and mystification inherent in the human condition. As Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 13:2 “For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known.”
This week’s theme is “For the Human Family,” because frankly, the human family needs it. We desperately need to appreciate how much we need one another (and need to learn from one another) if we are ever to improve our current circumstances.
There’s an app for that, as they say. Advent begins on Sunday, November 29th. This year, we profoundly need hope, joy, peace, and love (the themes of Advent). Your staff is working to offer Advent resources which might invite all of us into spiritual communion with one another in the full acknowledgement of our brokenness, interdependence, and hope within the promise of a humble savior born in obscurity.
To begin, let us lift up before one another our confusions, fears, and all of our need to look into a mirror, search our hearts, and ask how we might love God, ourselves, and one another more fully.