A Liturgy of Our Justice Commitment

Written by Patrick Longest (www.injuryandpardon.com)

Who created all to be in harmony,
In Shalom,
And yet sees the conflict and injustices in our world, In our country,
In our hometown.

Today, we come to you with various emotions and thoughts regarding the events of this week.

Some of us are disturbed and disheartened
By yet another death of a Black man
At the hands of a police officer.

We’ve seen it too many times to be surprised;
Too many times to think this will be the last.

Some of us are heartbroken that this is a problem in our city.
That life has become so value-less that cutting one short is commonplace.
That a child, a sibling, a cousin, a friend, now is gone forever.
That death has won in a violent act.

Others of us don’t have much to say about this.
For what we think and feel may might seem unkind.
For those of us who hear of it on the news, yet it has
Little impact on our daily lives, due to where we live,
Where we spend our time;
Where we feel “safe.”

As we reflect and put our focus on the injustice and ongoing
Repercussions of a racial divide, we understand that
This systemic issue is one that began long before us,
But that also persists due to our lack of action.

Show us in small, tangible, eye-opening ways,
How we play a role in these tragedies of injustice.
How our perspectives and experiences are shaped
By our privilege, our status, our discomforts

You once said, “Look! I stand at the door and knock.”
You wait to be invited in.
For Amir Locke, there was no knock.
There was no knock for Breonna either.
Can we ask the question, that if you, Jesus, wait and knock,
Isn’t the practice of patience worth our consideration, too?

Make things uncomfortable for us, that we won’t remain still.
That we will be moved to speak up, to stand up, to demand systemic changes;
To declare that this is not the peace you desire,
The neighborly love you taught.

Let us be the neighbor that steps out,
That knocks on the door to introduce ourselves,
To listen and get to know each other, the time to grow close, and invite them
To knock on our door, to be welcomed in for a meal,
For protection, for relationship.

To pause for a moment of prayer together.
Yet for now, in silence, we pause to grieve the loss of Amir Locke.

As we end our silence, we speak up, as one people looking for guidance to our calling.
We ask you, Spirit,
to reveal our privilege and biases that we might confess.
We ask you, Jesus,
to show us the doors on which we should knock.
We ask you, Creator,
to bring new life and new hope out of this tragedy.

Don’t let us miss this opportunity again.