‘Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy’. ~ Ezekiel 16:49
You, creator God, are merciful and just; loving all that you created and seeing that your works are good. You draw all creation to you with cords of love but you bind us loosely, your love is such that we are free to return your love or break away.
Forgive us that we require people to be so poor they and their children work in sweatshop conditions producing cheap clothing which we in our poverty think is fine to wear once or twice then throw away. As controversial amendments are made to India’s child labor bill, forgive us our arrogant poverty of mind.
Forgive us that we require people do the things we turn our noses up, the work in fields and farms, the “dirty” industries which we in our poverty think is fine for others of different culture or society but not for the likes of us. With only one international chain of coffee shops exploring the need for recyclable coffee cups, forgive us our overfed poverty of body.
Forgive us that we require people to be just like us, excluding anyone we denote as different, which we in our poverty think is fine as we fail to recognise our own need of acceptance. As 19 disabled people are killed in Japan for being different, forgive us our unconcerned poverty of spirit.
Generous and forgiving God, once more we know we are your forgiven, beloved children, make us so generous that all will come to know this.
In the violence of this week’s news we pray for those who are made to feel embarrassed and stupid because their use of a second, or third or fourth language is ridiculed rather than congratulated. We pray for the refugees and people of the Isle of Bute, Scotland politicised by a journalist seeking a good story rather than truth.
In the violence of this week’s news we pray for the people of the strong Christian communities in Bavaria, Germany and Rouen, France, and for the people of Florida, USA as news of a night club shooting is overridden as “not terrorist related”. We give thanks that instead of responding with anger, violence and hatred, as those totally deceived and misguided young people committed to violence want and thereby used to “justify” further acts of terror, so many are responding with public prayer, unity and reconciliation across all groups whether of faith, race and culture. United they condemn the violence but choose to show love and compassion to those so deeply affected.
In the violence of this week’s news we pray for those caught up in the events of the natural world:
- 10,000 Californian, USA homes evacuated in the path of wild fires after 5 years of drought;
- for those struggling to survive the heat and dust ofa desert summer in the Syrian refugee camps;
- for the people of South Sudan where poverty, lack of food and water combine to bring war again to the world’s youngest country;
- and for the dozens killed in Nepal in flash floods even while so many there still live in tents a year after the massive earthquakes devastated so many communities.
Generous and living God, teach us to be rich and generous towards you. So in that way we may be similarly generous toward each other dividing what we have until all have enough but not too much which we cannot use.