Atonement Prayer (for the United States)

by Vince Schueler

Oh God of mercy, justice and truth
 You who have raised up nations in Your name
      And have brought them low
Hear our prayer of atonement

We who in our arrogance and pride
 have placed ourselves above your holy order
    and have exalted ourselves above all nations, call your name
We have plundered the earth’s natural bounty
 to preserve our comfort, wealth and safety
   in a measure far greater than our share.

We who have abandoned you
 to worship the idols of hatred and contempt, hear our prayer.

Our divisions increase in number as
  we fuel the fires of resentment in our furnace of disparity
    and with bellows of fear and distrust we heat to white hot
    what holds us together in law and harmony.
      Forging asunder
       Blue and red, rural and urban,
         Muslim, christian, jew, white, black and brown
            Immigrant or native, legal and illegal
                Traitor – Patriot, Us – Them

Oh merciful one
  Save us from our failing institutions and leaders
    Who bend truth to serve their desires, not Yours
      and who have made selfishness a virtue.
Protect us from those who have betrayed us,
  as we have betrayed them, in our surrender
      to the demons of distraction, indifference and despair

Open our eyes to what we have become
  Let us not turn away in disgust and shame
    Or strut away in affronted anger
      Or run from our creation in fear

God of justice mercy and truth
  Bring us back into unity with You and Your one law of love
    Bring us back to your holy presence

Fill us with your mercy and love
Provide sweet balm for our callused callousness
and quench our heat with Your love
Direct our thoughts and actions to those that will mend our bonds
And return us to your divine center

New Testament Version

Jesus – we have really screwed this country up,
  Help us with your love.

May 20, 2017