When did we see you Lord: a prayer of confession

When did we see you Lord?

We thought we saw you on Sunday mornings, exalted in our praises. We though we saw you in the underlined sections of our Bibles. We thought we saw you when our cause succeeded.  We though we saw you when we got a raise or our kids turned out well.

These are the things we see, the things that arrest our attention. It is here, because here is where we look, that we thought we saw you.

But we are reminded of your claim that we saw you in things and in people to whom we pay no attention. Who knew that you were the hungry person? Who knew that you were the naked person? Or the one with HIV/AIDS? Or the stranger? Or the prisoner?

But there you were.

And we have to confess that when we saw these people we thought, “sinner, freeloader, burden, terrorist.” We confess we did not recognize these people as your glorious disguise.

And knowing that you were indeed in these places, with these people–knowing that if we had bothered to look, we would have see you there–we now realize that we are the sinners. By failing to see you, we saw a reflection of ourselves. We are the very people we thought them to be: sinner, burden, freeloader, terrorist. Surely they are bearing along with you our infirmities and our diseases.

Oh God, have mercy on us. Help us to see you rightly. Give us holy imagination so that we can see those places in the world that you have hidden yourself in glory.

Amen.

About Mark Love

I am the Dean for the School of Theology and Ministry and Director of the Resource Center for Missional Leadership at Rochester College. Part of my job includes directing a master's degree in missional leadership, a situated learning degree. I am married to Donna and have a son, Josh Love, who is a practicing new monastic in Abilene, TX. With Donna, I have also inherited three great daughters and two amazing granddaughters.
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7 Responses to When did we see you Lord: a prayer of confession

  1. cannopener says:

    Reblogged this on Worms and commented:
    This is beautiful, and kind of answers some of the things I’ve been whinging about lately. In a non-answering kind of way.

  2. Dan Allen says:

    Thanks Mark! This has been a really difficult day … dealing with the brokenness of individuals in a broken family in the midst of a broken culture … what a great reminder that Jesus is right in the middle of it all! It is in the midst of our mess that we are reminded that we have a Messiah!

  3. Pingback: The Prayers of the righteous avails much? Or do they? | daileytalks

  4. Our Sunday’s theme is on hospitality. Can I read this prayer? It fits so well.

  5. DJ says:

    Such a beautiful prayer, thank you!

  6. Patricia says:

    Thanks for the reminder of who “we” really are Dr. Love. This helps me with my dissertation thoughts on reconciliation and why we just cannot seem to get it right. Peace . . . . .

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