Loving God who directed the Magi with a brilliant star,
who created the stars shining brightly upon us tonight
and the stars that hide behind clouds:
We ask for your direction as the sun has set on this Epiphany.
As we hear stories of disgrace and disorder, we dare to pray for peace –
for our nation, for our nation’s capital, and within the deepest parts of our leadership.
You are the God of radicals and traditionalists.
You are the God of the fearless and the fearful.
You are the God of all who are pessimistic on this night and those who are hopeful.
You are the God of all of us who throw up our hands in fury of injustice. You are our God.
We confess that – although we live in a nation with noble aspirations – we have fallen short of your glory time and time again. Forgive us for treating brown and black and golden people differently from the way we treat white people. Forgive us for our blindness of everyday racism. Forgive us for choosing what is comfortable over what is true.
We place our nation in your hands on this night.
Just as you guided the Magi, guide us to share gifts that honor the vulnerable.
Make us bold to speak the truth in love. Keep us from weak indifference.
Pour out your Spirit upon us to choose another way – a way that is not safe, perhaps,
but a way that leads to wholeness and healing and repair.
We pray this in the name of the One who was born in Bethlehem and who lives among us still through the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
by Jan Edmiston, General presbyter, Presbytery of Charlotte