given at Trinity Reformed on 11.23.2008; inspired by Matt 25:34-46 and Doug Hagler's Mission Prayer over at Progressive Nostications.
I operate on the assumptions that there is no such thing as secular and there is no such thing as coincidence. I’m really into synchronicity or what the Catholic’s call Serendipity: things happening for a reason. I try to be attuned to the ever transmitting divine and see the world as illuminated. I think that’s what the text today is saying. Jesus is also directing our attention to places we wouldn’t and don’t want to look, namely the poor and hungry. With this in mind, let us pray:
God of nations and of peoples and of missions, it’s always a little jarring to learn there might be some distance between your mission and ours. We think we may have it right, that we’re doing a great job, but then you remind us where to look.
You remind us of the sick, the poor, the homeless. You never said to help them because they’re kind-hearted, or because they think rationally, or because they’ll understand and turn their lives around to live ones resembling ours. No… We want to out into the world bearing the truth, teaching others how they should live, what they should believe, giving and helping to show our generosity, and then returning home, content.
But that’s not what you; Jesus our Christ, would have us do. Yours is a larger mission, larger than us and all we can do. We go out and find You already there Your mission has begun, You are doing a new thing, going out into the world ahead of us. We meet You in outsiders, in strangers, in those we thought were only there to receive from us but it is we who receive and once again you are made strange and wonderful, not the domesticated God we carry out into the world but the true God we encounter already at work. You invite us to join You in Your mission which is already turning the world around.
Help us see you and response as you would, oh God. Guide us into a world that resembles the words your Son gave us when he said, OUR FATHER….