A confession to close 2023: The rocks cry out

This year, rocks have witnessed war, gun violence, oppression, and global warming. They cry out, "How long, Oh God?" Let's join them, writes Jesy Littlejohn.

Photo by Artiom Vallat on Unsplash

Holy God — 

As we reach the end of another year, we thank you for your continued grace, even when we know we may not have earned it. In so many ways, Lord, we have failed to use our voices, and in our silence, the rocks have cried out. 

God, the rocks are crying out — rubble and ash left in the aftermath of violence and decades-old wars. These rocks bury the bodies of children, and they cry out: “How long, Oh God?”

Lord, may we seek and know your peace in the coming year. Though it passes all understanding, may we understand how we can create a path for peace in this coming year through your guidance. May you offer your wisdom so that we might begin to know how to bring about an end to violence. In your mercy, Lord. 

God, the rocks are crying out — they watch as innocent children, parents, teachers, employees and bystanders are gunned down and left for dead. These rocks are supposed to offer shelter and safety. They aren’t meant to house bullets, to house death. These rocks cry out: “How long, O God?”

Holy One, in this coming year may we know the hope of what the world could look like without gun violence. God, please give us the knowledge and the resources to bring about sensible change in our world. Open our eyes so that we can clearly see the humanity in our neighbors and never for a second believe that life is expendable. In your mercy, Lord. 

God, the rocks are crying out — beaten and worn down, stomped on by myriad people marching, running, struggling for their basic needs, their humanity. These rocks witness the relentless fight and cry out: “How long, O God?”

Holy Redeemer, you made us in your image. You have deemed us worthy of grace and love. You have transformed our brokenness into beauty. You have called us good. In the coming year, may we look at one another and recognize your reflection, the glimmer of the divine. May we act in such a way that it is no longer necessary to fight for our humanity, for our health, and for our basic needs. In this coming year, God, may we know rest. In your mercy, Lord. 

God, the rocks are crying out — burning and drowning in the continued destruction of your creation. These rocks, these century-old witnesses, are weathered beyond recognition. They cry out: “How long, O God?”

Heavenly Creator, may we look at the divinity of your creation, of this home you have made for us, and understand the fullness of our responsibility to tend, nuture and defend. Teach us to do better. In your mercy, Lord. 

Holy One, in your mercy, may we have the courage to relieve the rocks of their shouts. In this coming year, may we know, what it is to be loved by you. We pray that this love pours out of us so greatly that all whom we encounter may know you.

In our confession, Lord, we humble ourselves with the notion that with each passing day, each passing moment, we are forgiven and freed. Lord, as we enter into 2024, may we carry, in our hearts, the birth of Christ and the promise of new life, new hope, new creation, new joy, and more love. 

In your mercy, Lord, hear our prayers. Amen.