Spare us, Most Holy One, from the rolling thunder of your voice as it quakes our weary souls and sends us scurrying for lesser comforts.
Let our comforts not be secondary gods, false idols, exploitation or cruelty or jealousy or lies.
Spare us, Most Holy One, from the piercing light of your truth as it lays bare our insolence and disbelief, our self-righteousness and disregard.
Let our confidence in this world not be wed to princes or presidents, riches or rituals, violence or vanity.
But if we cannot be spared; if we must put faith in the thunder and learn to love the lightning, then O God, likewise do not spare those who wield evil:
who shout to drown out the heavens’ anthem,
who rage to possess every grape and vineyard,
who desire gold and jewels more than righteousness,
who gobble honeycomb but cannot speak a sweet word,
whose faults are promoted to the destruction of others,
who do not meditate on justice or compassion,
who raise a toast to greed and call it wisdom,
who covet bloodshed as a sign of power,
who cannot fathom humility or discipline,
who ravage life like a wild boar in a forest.
Let your thunder tremble and topple their sandcastles. Let your lightning strip threadbare the cloak of bluster and prestige under which they hide.
Apply your thunder equitably. Rain down your lightning unsparingly. Radiate your glory to the embarrassment of all vanity.
Then we will praise the thunder that disrupts us
and we will rejoice in the very lightning we fear,
for they will be a welcome mercy compared to evil.
Let it be so.
on today’s Revised Common Lectionary texts
The Rev. Rachel G. Hackenberg‘s book with co-author Martha Spong, Denial Is My Spiritual Practice (and Other Failures of Faith), searches for faith through life’s trials. Rachel has also written Writing to God, a popular Lenten devotional, and other books.
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