Friday, December 31, 2010

A Prayer for the New Year

Grant, O God, that your holy and life-giving Spirit may so move every human heart, that barriers which divide us may crumble, suspicions disappear, and hatreds cease; that our divisions being healed, we may live in justice and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Book of Common Prayer (1979) calls this the "Collect for Social Justice." It is ironic that "social justice" is part of the shorthand language of our "sad divisions." Some won't even look at a prayer with that title; others will roll their eyes because a prayer with that title doesn't assert their pet cause.

I post the prayer because it names some of the evils that bedevil us right now - barriers, suspicions, hatreds and divisions. They need to be prayed against and renounced by people of faith and good will.

The affirmative petitions - for the Holy Spirit's transformation of hearts, for healing of relationships, for the practice of justice and peace - are things we might well "resolve" to seek, both in contemplation and action.

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