A Prayer of Confession and Thanksgiving

“O Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you, I will praise your name; for you have done wonderful things, plans formed of old, faithful and sure.”  Isaiah 25:1

Sovereign God, we confess that as mortals, we forget.   We forget that our lives – while not as precarious as other creatures – is nevertheless short-term.   There is no permanency clause, no stipulations requiring that when we die, it will be on our terms.   No promises were and will be given as to the matter of our demise, either.   This knowledge is out of our reach and not at all within our domain.

So thank you, for this life with all its joys and disappointments, delights and devastating failures.   Thank you for the lives given us but more so, for pouring upon undeserving us the sweet, intoxicating love of your salvific grace.   Thank for not holding back your mercy for mere mortals and all creatures that inhabit this fragile planet, the one we call our earthly home.

Thank you for your inestimable patience, your tireless energy, and your unfathomable wisdom.   Thank for seeing beyond what any of us could imagine, but having the capacity to peer into the immediacy of our hearts.   Thank you for loving us, our families, neighbors, friends, former co-workers, bosses beyond all matter of understanding.   Thank you for extending that quality of mercy we cannot apply even to ourselves.

Thank you for the astonishing beauty of freshly fallen snow, that clings to tree trunks and rests on branches.   Thank you for its impermanence, its temporal quality and its paradoxical quality of its extravagant beauty juxtaposed against the bitter cold.   Thank you for gracing us with the seasons meant to regulate life – even as we wantonly undermine the very facets of the earth’s atmosphere designed to preserve it.

Thank you for listening to the endless petitions that are lifted up to you, prayers from distraught, grieving and weary souls.   Thank you for not dealing back to those who curse you and your name, and utter all manner of falsehood and depravity against you.   Thank you for continuing to hold your children – even when we forget you, exploit you for our own selfish purposes and outright lie in order to preserve the very falsity that is destroying us.

Thank you most of all for being God: all-powerful and all vulnerable, unknown but accessible to all; older than the universe but younger than a newborn child.

Thank you for being all that you are, for endowing us with an inalienable birthright as your children and loving us through it all.   Thank you, thank you, and thank you!

Amen.

 

Author: Jessica McArdle

These are dark and corrosive times. As a writer and ordained minister with the United Church of Christ, I use prayer, poetry, reflection, and scripture to re-align our embattled spirits with the uniqueness and urgency of our God-given identity and call.

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