Formation

A Lenten Prayer of Repentance for When We Have Failed Our Neighborhood

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After This — Luke 10:1

After this the Lord appointed seventy others and sent them on ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go. Luke 10:1

After this…
Failure to love
I avoided my neighbour today
I saw her out of the corner of my eye and turned the other way
After this?

We knocked on the door only to learn that her husband had passed six months ago.
We didn’t know.
No one on our street knew.
After this?

I was trimming a tree out front and felt a tap on my shoulder.
I looked around and there was a little old lady standing there.
She said, “I’m moving tomorrow and after 37 years in this neighbourhood, I just thought someone should know.”
After this?

Seventeen dead in a high school hallway
Sexual harassment, loss of honesty,
Refugees, disasters and criminality
Bombs, boasts, bribes and brutality
Our racism, violence, prejudice and hypocrisy
After this?

The havoc wrecked on Your beautiful creation
worldwide
The poverty—physical, emotional, relational, spiritual
We ignore or avoid
or allow
Our greed, materialism, selfishness, pride.
After this?

You appoint and send us.
You appoint and send us?! Luke 10:1
After we argue over who’s the greatest Luke 9:46-48
After we claim Your Name for ourselves
To the exclusion of others Luke 9:49-50
After we want to torch the whole village Luke 9:51-56
The WHOLE VILLAGE!
After we make so many excuses Luke 9:57-62
We’re still making excuses.
After this?

Forgive us, Lord.
For we know not what we do. Luke 23:34
Or do we? Sometimes we do…
And we still do—or don’t, when we should.
Though our sins be as scarlet, make us white as snow. Isaiah 1:18
Help us to forgive ourselves
and one another
and sometimes our neighbours
Though truth be told
It’s likely we need their forgiveness more than they need ours.
Remove the log in our eyes
that we might humbly come along side those with specks in their own.
Matthew 7:3,4
After this?

After this, may we know…
The Word has become flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood. And we have seen the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son, Generous inside and out, true from start to finish. John 1:14

After this
May we know
WE KNOW
Why You came
Why You lived among
How You showed us the Way
How much we needed You
Need You
To live,
To love
God WITH us.

After this
We know
May we know
You died for us
What burdens You bear
What grace You give
What love You share

After this
May we know
You rose from the grave
And continue to choose to hang out with us
To use us
To love us
To make us part of Your Story
—after this!

And you fill us with Your love
Mercy
Kingdom

After this
Renew us again and again
Restore us – Send us
That we might remain Luke 10:7
Among and with our neighbours…the Kingdom come near!

After this then…
“Look! Look! God has moved into the neighborhood, making his home with men and women! They’re his people, he’s their God”. Revelation 21:3

[Artwork: Dangerous Confession by Erica Wilk]

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