A Path for God’s Steps

20121004_164907O God, you were favorable to your land;
you restored the fortunes of Jacob.
Like the ancient Israelites, we turn from your ways again and again without seeming to learn. Yet, your love for them, O Lord, never ended.

You forgave the iniquity of your people;
you pardoned all their sin.
You pardoned the sins of your people for generations. Will you continue to pardon us when we break relationships with you, ourselves, and our neighbors?

You withdrew all your wrath;
you turned from your hot anger.
Surely, you must be angry at what has been done in your name. Will your turn from your anger yet again, in spite of what we, your people, do and fail to do?

Restore us again, O God of our salvation,
and put away your indignation towards us.
You are the God of our salvation but we often act as if this could not possibly be true. Can you put away your indignation toward us even as we continue to respond in anger toward others?

Will you be angry with us forever?
Will you prolong your anger to all generations?
You have forgiven your people in the past—over and over again. We long to serve you more fully even as we choose lesser gods to serve. Our children hardly know you. Will you gather your scattered people once more?

Will you not revive us again,
so that your people may rejoice in you?
We have lost the joy of life in you. We seek after our own small pleasures and hold those who truly suffer at arm’s length. Breathe new life into us, that we may sing of your glory without hesitation.

Show us your steadfast love, O God,
and grant us your salvation.
We have chosen war over peace, squandering resources over feeding the hungry, maintaining injustice over fostering equity, fear over love, and self-reliance over trust in you. O Lord our God, grant us your salvation.

Let me hear what God the Sovereign will speak,
for God will speak peace to the people,
Quiet the chaos in us and around us that we may truly hear your Word of peace louder than all other words.

God will speak to the faithful,
to those who turn to God in their hearts.
We long to hear you speaking, even out of the cacophony of our own making. Turn the hearts of the faithful to you.

Surely God’s salvation is at hand for those who fear God,
that God’s glory may dwell in our land.
We stand in awe when confronted with your power and reminded of your abiding presence. Save us from all that we have done to distance ourselves from you. May we be active witnesses of your saving grace.

Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet;
righteousness and peace will kiss each other.
Your steadfast love and faithfulness surpasses all that we can know and understand. When we see you in everyone we meet and live in the justice this seeing calls forth, then righteousness and peace will kiss each other and all will be blessed.

Faithfulness will spring up from the ground,
and righteousness will look down from the sky.
You will rejoice when all your children stand together to care for each other and for creation with passion and joy.

God will give what is good,
and our land will yield its increase.
You, O Lord, give what is good. May we be open to the abundance you provide.

Righteousness will go before God,
and will make a path for God’s steps.
May we our feet walk the path of righteousness wherever God’s steps may lead.

RCL – Year C – Tenth Sunday after Pentecost – July 28, 2013
Hosea 1:2-10 with Psalm 85 or
Genesis 18:20-32 with Psalm 138
Colossians 2:6-15, (16-19)
Luke 11:1-13

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