You did not make us, O God, to die in bomb craters or to huddle through the night in basement shelters. You made us to play under olive trees and cedars and to sleep soundly with animal toys and gentle lovers. Lord, have mercy. Kyrie eleison.
You did not make us, O God, to hold hostages for barter or to rain deadly fury on innocent children and beautiful coast lands. You made us, O God, to welcome strangers and to cherish all creation. Christ, have mercy. Kyrie eleison.
You did not make us, O God, to oppress in the name of security or to kill in the name of justice. You made us, O God, to find security in justice and to risk life in the name of peace. Lord, have mercy. Kyrie eleison.
While leaders in Tel Aviv and Damascus, Tehran, Washington, and southern Lebanon pander to ancient fears, claim the mantle of righteous victim, and pursue their little empires in the name of gods of their own devising, the people of Lebanon and northern Israel are made captive to fear, true victims whose only advocate is You.
Save us from self-justifying histories and from moral equations that excuse our folly. Search our hearts for our own complicity. Spare us from pious prayers that neglect the prophet’s angry cry. Let us speak a resounding “no” to this warring madness and thus unmake our ways of death, so that we may be made more and more into your image. Kyrie eleison. Kyrie eleison. Kyrie eleison.
Though I'm a terrible sinner for not paying any attention to the news recently (no really, I can't even bring myself to listen to NPR for the 10-minute drive to work), I believe in the power of prayer. In my transgression, I offer this prayer composed by UCC General Minister and President John Thomas for the hope of our world.