A Brief History of God in our Midst

A Litany of Remembrance

O God,
we entered the world,
and our first instinct was to cry.
To cry for help,
for air,
for love.

We have forgotten, but you have remembered.

You have heard our cries:
Through our mothers, our fathers,
our step-mothers, and step-fathers,
through aunts, uncles and grandparents.
Through foster parents, adoptive parents, guardians
and friends we’ve made along the way.

We have forgotten, but you have remembered.

We turn aside and fall
into the hands of our culture
Turning our attention to the latest technological wonder
or the latest philosophical fad.
We twitter and talk and update our status
Too rarely pausing
to take stock of our status with you.

We have forgotten, but you have remembered.

But you deliver us from the hands of these distractions
You come to us in the whisper of a friend
The encouragement of a stranger
A warm meal on a cold night
A conversation over coffee
A nudge from your Spirit

We have forgotten, but you have remembered.

You point us to the One
Who came among us
With empty hands
Who sought justice
Who loved mercy
Who walked humbly before you

We have forgotten, but you have remembered.

His hands were empty
Because they were always giving
always loving
Always healing.
Empty, because they were spread wide on a cross

We have forgotten, but you have remembered.

God, we entered this world crying,
and we cry still today.
May we open our hands to receive this love,
to share this love,
to respond to the cries around us,
to worship you, our true King.

We have forgotten, but you have remembered.

Amen.

-=-=-=-=-

This morning in our worship gathering, we had a time of reflection, remembering, and giving thanks as a way of “considering the great things the LORD (YHWH) has done.”  (1 Sam 12:24)

People voiced things out to God that they were grateful for:  simple things like the rain that was falling outside nourishing the dry earth, things like the deep and constant love of a spouse, or the innocent joy and trust of a child, as well as times where we were faithless, but God was faithful…  After each spoken reflection, we responded as a community: we have forgotten, but you have remembered.

Our time of praying, reflecting and sharing culminated with the above litany.  The rhythm of single voice followed by a communal response created a powerful and meaningful space of worship.   If you find this of use, feel free to borrow it for your own personal reflections or in a worship gathering.

The great theologian Abraham Joshua Heschel would often quote a Hassidic master: “The Jew’s greatest sin is to forget that he is the son of a King.”   There is power in remembering.

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