A Litany of Lament

A Litany of Lament

We thank you, O God, for the good things we enjoy in our lives.
But lament that our abundance has brought destitution to sisters and brothers throughout the earth.
We thank you, O God, for the justice proclaimed by your Son Jesus Christ.
But we remember that our world is mired in oppression and violence.
We thank you, O God, for the liberty that is ours by the Holy Spirit.
But we confess that we are easily enslaved by petty pursuits and consumer comforts.
We thank you, O God, for the peace that you promise in the midst of strife.
But we mourn over the ways in which we’ve failed to live as peacemakers.

Behold! a shopping mall on a hill, peddling baubles of bondage and trinkets that entangle.
Fallen, Fallen is Babylon the Great!
May we, like camelhair-clothed prophets, lead people out of captivity.
Come out of Babylon my people!
The American Dream is a poor substitute for the Reign of God.
Come out of Babylon my people!
Consumption and Credit are cruel masters.
Enter the wilderness in prayer and fasting!
Emerge into a world that no longer sees us as its own.
For we are a peculiar people. A nation of priests.
Behold, a mighty citadel built upon a hill of bones!
Bring every mountain low, raise up every valley.
A citadel that imprisons the poor and fetters the affluent.
Babylon’s sins are piled up to heaven. God remembers its crimes.
Her war machine offers salvation to Iraq and Afghanistan.
Some may trust in chariots, but we will trust in the Lord.
The Reign of God is in our midst.
Your salvation is near those who revere you!
We long for a world where righteousness dwells.
Where your justice and peace kiss.
A people of Jubilee, a where your Spirit is poured out on all flesh!
Not a nation of Debt whose desires smother your Spirit.
Our consumption crushes those cast upon the altar of capitalism.
Consume us, O God.
Forgive us for our waywardness, O God!
We confess our complicity. Restore us, O God!
Make your dwelling among us, Emmanuel.
And guide our steps along the path of peace.

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