Black Lives Matter: A Litany for Lighting the Peace Candle

Console my people, give them comfort,
says your God.
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem’s heart,
and tell it
that its time of service has ended,
that its iniquity is atoned for,
that it has received from the YHWH’s hand
double for punishment for all its sins.


Where is this consolation and comfort
for God’s people?
Where are the tender words for black mothers’ hearts?
Why have we not lived into the
end of prejudice and hatred?
All iniquity – black, white, red, yellow, and brown –
as been atoned for.
Surely, there is no need of murder and death at human hands when God no longer                                                                                                   punishes.

A voice cries out:
“Clear a path through the wilderness for YHWH!
Make straight a road through the desert for our God!
Let every valley be filled in,
   and every mountain and hill be laid low;
let every cliff become a plain,
   and the ridges become a valley!
Then the glory of YHWH will be revealed,
   and all humankind will see it.”
   for the mouth of the YHWH has spoken.”

personal-349256_1280All voices need to cry out:
Clear a path through this needless fear for the Living God!
Make straight a road through ignorance and injustice for God to walk.
Let all racism be brought into the light;
let every abuse of power be put to an end,
and the oppressed clothed in justice!
Then the glory of God will be revealed,
and all humankind will experience  grace.
These are the ways of God.
A voice commands, “Cry out!”
   and I answer, “What shall I say?”
–“All flesh is grass,
and its beauty is like the wildflowers:
The grass withers
and the flower wilt,
when the breath of YHWH blows on them.
How people are like the grass!
Grass withers, the flowers wilt,
but the promise of our God will stand for ever.

boy-509487_1280The injustice of those in power commands, “Cry out!”
There is no need to ask, “What shall I say?”
All flesh if fragile and finite,
and it is all wonderfully and beautifully made.
No human life lasts forever
or has more value than another.
The Breath of Life flows through all equally.
Black lives matter.
White privilege does not determine value.
Lives filled with anger and hatred will pass.
The promise of God will stand forever
where there is love, mercy, and kindness.

Go up on a high mountain,
you who bring good news to Zion!
Shout with a loud voice,
you who bring good news to Jerusalem!
Shout without fear,
and say to the towns of Judah,
   “Here is your God!”
YHWH, O Sovereign One,
you come with power ,
and rule with a strong arm!
You bring your reward with you,
   and your reparation comes before you.
Like a shepherd you feed your flock,
   gathering the lambs and holding them close,
and leading mother ewes with gentleness.

handprints-500659_1280Go out to the streets crowded with anger,
you who bring good news to the people!
Shout without fear to dispel the fear,
and say to all the cities and towns,
Your God is here!
The Ruler and Giver of life has power
and strength to change what is.
We are to embody this God in all that we do.
We are to be the shepherds who feed the hungry,
who gather in the children and hold them close,
and lead grieving mothers with gentleness.

candle-546563_1280Black lives matter.
I light this Advent Candle of Peace
in the name of
Akai Gurley
Tamir Rice
Michael Brown
Eric Garner
and the countless other black men who have been killed by police officers

As we gather in this Advent Light, shining in the darkness of injustice, make your way known to us, Holy God. While we may not have created the horrors of racism, we are responsible for changing it and bringing about justice for all your people. Guide our feet in the way of peace. Have mercy on us. In Christ’s name. Amen.

RCL – Year B – Second Sunday of Advent, Peace – December 7, 2014
Isaiah 40:1-11
Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13
2 Peter 3:8-15a
Mark 1:1-8

The Scripture quoted here is from The Inclusive Bible.

All photos from Used with permission.


About rachaelkeefe

Hi. I am a pastor, an author, a painter, and a poet. My latest book is available now to order from Chalice Press, The Lifesaving Church: Faith Communities and Suicide Prevention (
This entry was posted in Emerging Church, Prayer and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s