We are takers

You are the giver of all good things.
All good things are sent from heaven above,
rain and sun,
day and night,
justice and righteousness,
bread to the eater and
seed to the sower,
peace to the old,
energy to the young,
joy to the babes.

We are takers, who take from you,
day by day, daily bread,
taking all we need as you supply,
taking in gratitude and wonder and joy.

And then taking more,
taking more than we need,
taking more than you give us,
taking from our sisters and brothers,
taking from the poor and the weak,
taking because we are frightened, and so greedy,
taking because we are anxious, and so fearful,
taking because we are driven, and so uncaring.

Give us peace beyond our fear, and so end our greed.
Give us well-being beyond our anxiety, and so end our fear.
Give us abundance beyond our drivenness,
and so end our uncaring.
Turn our taking into giving…since we are in your giving image:

Make us giving like you,
giving gladly and not taking,
giving in abundance, not taking,
giving in joy, not taking,
giving as he gave himself up for us all,
giving, never taking. Amen.

Walter Brueggemann, on reading 1 Samuel 8/March 9, 1999
from Awed to Heaven Rooted in Earth, p. 33

The God we would rather have

We are your people and mostly we don’t mind,
except that you do not fit any of our categories.
We keep pushing
and pulling
and twisting
and turning,
trying to make you fit the God we would rather have,
and every time we distort you that way
we end up with an idol more congenial to us.
In our more honest moments of grief and pain
we are very glad that you are who you are,
and that you are toward us in all your freedom
what you have been toward us.
So be your faithful self
and by your very engagement in the suffering of the world,
transform the world even as you are being changed.
We pray in the name of Jesus,
who is the sign of your suffering love. Amen.

In anticipation of reading Jeremiah 4-6 / 2000

This selection is from Awed To Heaven, Rooted in Earth: Prayers of Walter Brueggemann, p. 35