Sunday, September 4, 2011

bending towards reconciliation

Today's Gospel is from Matthew 18: 15-20  in which we learn how to resolve conflict. (Go alone to see what you can do & if that doesn't work? Bring witnesses & if that doesn't work? Tell the church & if that doesn't work? Treat them like a Gentile or tax collector, i.e. love them!)

 "Forgiving Lord, I do not want my enemies forgiven. 
 I want you to kill them (as sometimes prays the psalmist!).
Actually, I would prefer to pray that you punish them
rather than kill them, since I would like to watch them suffer. 
Also, I fear losing my enemies,
since my hates are more precious to me than my loves. 
If I lost my hates, my enemies,
how would I know who I am? 
Yet you have bent us toward reconciliation,
that we may be able to pass one another Christ's peace. 
It is a terrible thing to ask of us. 
I'm sure I cannot do it, but you are a wily God able to accomplish miracles. 
May we be struck alive with the miracle of your grace,
even to being reconciled with ourselves.  Amen."

from Prayers Plainly Spoken, by Stanley Hauerwas, p. 95
Scripture source: Matthew 18:15-20
Cartoon source:


keneva said...

I love this prayer - I heard Stanley Hauerwas speak in Belfast some years ago at a reconciliation group I was/am involved with - great communicator. Thanks for the reminder

ROBERTA said...

There is something to be said for honesty in our conversations with the Creator, and this prayer offers just that. And now you've made me curious about this reconciliation group you are involved with:)

keneva said...

Contemporary Christianity in Ireland Not as involved as I used to be as we travel so much but they do useful things - and informative.