A Benedictine Prayer

May God bless you with a restless discomfort
about easy answers, half-truths and superficial relationships,
so that you may seek truth boldly
and love deep within your heart.

May God bless you with a holy anger
toward injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people,
so that you may tirelessly work
for justice, freedom, and peace among all people.

May God bless you with the gift of tears to shed with those who
suffer from pain, rejection, starvation, or the loss of all that they cherish,
so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them
and transform their pain into joy.

May God bless you with enough foolishness to believe
that you really can make a difference in this world,
so that you are able,
with God’s grace,
to do what others claim cannot be done.

Dear friends in Christ,
This coming Saturday we will have opportunity to walk our freshly trimmed Journey of Faith Labyrinth with members of the Bound Brook Presbyterian Church. We have the privilege to enjoy a contemplative walk together in our peaceful suburban neighborhood. And, of course, contemplation is a good thing. It causes us to slow down and listen for God speaking to us. But contemplation is impotent in our lives of faith if not used to guide our actions. Submitting to the twists and turns of the labyrinth path is just a puzzling walk if we don’t open ourselves to God’s guidance for our walk in Jesus’ ways outside the labyrinth’s borders.
In light of the alarming increased boldness of white supremacists to act on their hate, I invite us to use this labyrinth walk to contemplate how to embolden our actions of love, justice and peace. Perhaps as we walk into the labyrinth we could loosen our grasp on our privilege and imagine what life would be like without it. Arriving in the labyrinth’s center stripped before God, we could acknowledge our common human identity—frail and beloved. Then, could we begin the journey out of the labyrinth with the humility and courage to offer up our privilege in the service of God’s vision of our renewed humanity in Christ, even in these troubled times?
Perhaps over our potluck picnic we might contemplate together God’s blessings of discomfort, holy anger, tears and foolishness that prompt us to act in Christ’s Spirit.

~Pastor Susan

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