The following prayer was written by Deb Whalen-Blaize for the April 5 Wine Before Breakfast service in response to the text of Luke 7:36-50 where the outcast woman anoints Jesus.
Creator, Whole One, who formed us, whole, from clay and called us good; Knowing we are broken, knowing our ways are broken, we come to be reminded that we are still good. That we are loved Even when we are sick, when we are bankrupt, when we numb ourselves. In the face of a culture that expects us to perform, to deliver, and to compete, remind us again that you see us already good, still good, created good; Created to be loved even when we are overwhelmed, when we are fuming, when we are losing our sanity. We take this moment to let down our guard, to pause our hiding and posturing, to accept that you know exactly who and how we are in this moment, and to practice trusting that you love us - that you always have and you always will. (Moment of reflecting and opening ourselves to God) What wondrous love this is that you offer us, complete and full and rich and untainted. It saturates all the places where we are criticized and cracked until we are full to overflowing. When we are so full of this love we long to offer it back to you in a meaningful way But you are no longer a man travelling the desert whose feet are tired and worn. How do we demonstrate our passionate adoration? You have said that whatever we do to the least among us, we are doing it to you. We shall endeavor to seek out the least and love them, to give food to the hungry and water to the thirsty, to welcome the stranger and clothe the naked, to care for the sick and accompany the imprisoned. We lift to you the people and communities on our hearts whom we love because you first loved us, who are beloved regardless of their brokenness. (Prayers for people and communities in need) May each one be filled with the certainty of your love. May they find healing and wholeness, confident of your acceptance. We pray, too, for those in power, those the world sees as the greatest among us, but who you know are not without sin. They, too, are only redeemed by love. We ask that you persuade them, Lord, to wield their power, wealth, and status, not as weapons, but as tools to build your kin-dom. May they contribute to the healing and wholeness of your world. (prayers for those in power) May each of these, know your love deeply, be inspired to do your will, and to act and decree with loving kindness. Every day, God, we see our brokenness and the brokenness of others. If you marked our transgressions, Lord, who would stand? May your love fill us with such confidence that we can meet the transgressions of others with forgiveness and love, tending to a cycle of healing and breaking the cycle of brokenness. May we, restored and full of gladness, work towards the building of your kin-dom, conquering pain with compassion, overcoming fear with trust, knowing we are nurtured and protected by your love. Amen.