“Lord have mercy,” we often cry out. “Christ have mercy,” we hasten to add, as if knowing how much we wound your loving spirit. We know the best challenges you have given us when you dared us to love our enemies, to be perfect, to forgive 70 times 7, and to turn the other cheek.
Some are tougher than others, yet one failure is especially puzzling. Jesus, you prayed that we might be one. You prayed for our unity of spirit and unity of purpose. Your servant, Paul, even imagined us rising in unity above being male or female, Jew or Greek, slave or free, even one in faith and baptism. How far short we are of such unity.
We confess, therefore, our disunity, our separateness, our opposition and hostility and intolerance toward one another. We understand how our own failure to be one has cheapened our message, weakened our mission, broken our witness.
We confess our ego, pride, and our “holier than thou” arrogance. Replace our vanities with your spirit. Remind us of the humility of your example. Teach us, again, your prayer for unity. May the trinity of your being no longer be a mystery but become the model for our being.
Bind us to one another across creed and race, across doctrine and denomination, across loyalties and allegiances and flags, and across histories and traditions. Bring us together in you, for your sake and your glory and your purpose.