Remember, O God.
Remember how you, O God, were determined to kill the Israelites
whom you had brought out of Egypt,
because they had turned against you and worshiped other gods.
Remember how Moses called you to account?
How he reminded you that you had made promises of faithfulness
to Abraham, Isaac, and Israel?
Remember…that you remembered. And changed your mind.
And abandoned the disaster you had planned to bring on your people,
and let them live.
Remind us too, O God, of all the promises of faithfulness we have made to one another.
Let the memories of the promises – of kinship, of friendship, of business relationships, of mutual responsibility, of national and international peace –
let those memories outweigh all the ways we have turned against one another.
Let it be the memories of the promises of faithfulness, that sway the decisions of leaders and peoples:
- In Syria, where the opposition has suggested a transition plan toward free elections
- In Hong Kong, where youth protest leaders won seats on the Legislative Council – only to have China respond by warnings that anyone who speaks in favor of Hong Kong independence will be punished
- In South Sudan, that has agreed to allow more peace keepers into the country
- In Ethiopia, as political violence continues to delay the distribution of aid to four million people hit by drought and floods
- In Kenya, where the new Community Land Bill establishes a means for impoverished nomadic communities to acquire titles to their ancestral lands – a process that experts hope will help end land conflicts, boost development and improve investor relations
- In Colombia, after the FARC rebel group postponed its meeting to ratify a peace agreement with the government for another week
- In Gabon, where President Ali Bongo’s narrow election victory has stirred up fears of violence
Let it be the memories of the longing for faithfulness, that color our prayers for those who have died:
- For Mother Teresa of Calcutta, declared a saint this week in a canonization Mass held by Pope Francis in the Vatican
- For Phyllis Schlafly, who died this week after decades of being one of the most prominent leaders of the conservative Christian anti-feminist movement in the United States
- For all whom we remember this weekend, on the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the U.S. – the terrorists, the innocent, the rescuers, the lives that touched so many nations
Make us into your own image, O God.
Make us creatures of memory – not of memories of betrayals and distrust,
but, like you, of faithfulness promised from age to age.