Mallory Challis

June 9th, 2024

Most Merciful God, 

We come to you in the brightness of this morning, knowing the night’s darkness still hangs heavily upon our world.

The weight of sinfulness, pain, violence, abuse, injustice, division, misunderstandings, hatred, loss, grief, disappointment — and a long list that goes on — keep us from feeling the warmth of Your light. The darkness feels inescapable. We are blinded with confusion, consumed with fear, overtaken by guilt, and driven to divide ourselves from one another as we try to find our way in the darkness, instead of letting the light of our neighbors shine on our paths. 

In fact, we are often so overcome by this darkness that we cannot even see our neighbors before us.

And because we are blind to who our neighbors are, we divide ourselves from them. Right and wrong, right and left, moral and immoral, pure and impure, worthy and unworthy, us and them — forgetting that our creator formed each and every one of us in God’s image and simply called us “good.” Forgetting that the body of Christ can no longer be unified if we insist on rejecting the parts we don’t like. Forgetting that on both sides of our dividing lines, you have bestowed love.

God of mercy, will you help us turn the lights back on? 

Help us to see our beloved siblings, rejoice at this sight, and have the bravery to call them “good.”

Help us be advocates, ministers, and friends. Remind us that the practice of inclusion is not a burden for us to take on, but a gift that breathes life into our community. That the heavy burden of darkness is but the absence of light, and that Your light will always prevail.

On this bright morning, let your light shine upon us as we pray as you taught us to pray:

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name.

Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. 

Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. 

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. 

For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.