The Church is a-buzz with debate, O God.
We do not know what to call your Son:
is he prophet?
Is he shepherd?
Is he John?
or Elijah?
or divine?
Does it matter what we call him
as long as we recognize him
as Lord of our lives?

The imprisoned pray fervently, O God,
waiting for the liberation you have promised:
liberation from fear and anxiety,
from oppression and poverty,
from disease and despair,
from inequity and apathy,
from war and weaponry
in every form,
and from all the isms that separate us,
one from another.
How long, O Lord, we pray!
How long?

The privileged sit in their ivory palaces
and eat and drink and are merry,
entertained by fools
who seek fame and fortune
at the expense of those considered “less than.”
Greed and lust and power rule the day.
Where do we look to find decency
among those who lead?
Who is strong enough to stand up
to weakness and cruelty
and speak truth?

Hear our prayers, O God.
Help us to discern —
with wisdom and clarity —
what exactly your self-revelation in Jesus Christ
means for your people,
and therefore,
what we should demand of our leaders,
and what we should expect of ourselves.
Send us out with the courage
to be truth-tellers,
the compassion
to be caregivers,
and the strength
to be life-giving leaders
with imagination
and integrity.

Julie Gvillo is Commissioned Pastor (PCUSA) and Founder and Creative Executive Director of A Place of Grace. Julie shares liturgy written on RCL passages each week on her blog, Point of Contact: Where Life and Worship Intersect.

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