Forgive us, we pray. We have sought power in politics and not in surrender and service to you and to one another. We have looked to politicians and judges for salvation and been willing to overlook and even make excuses for blatant behavior that reveals a heart far from the character of Christ. We have looked the other way so that we can grab and hold on to power. We have put down and desecrated others who have been made in your image. Our impotence to live as Jesus lived has led us to attempt to legislatively and judicially coerce people to the cause of Christ.
We carry banners with the name of Jesus, looking to force our will on others when Jesus is calling us to put down the sword and be voices of healing. We scream and shout at others who look differently, think differently, and believe differently than we do rather than picking up the towel and the basin to wash even our enemies’ feet.
We align ourselves with rumors, baseless theories, and foolish talk so much that when we speak the truth of the gospel, the world assumes it is just another unfounded conspiracy theory.
And we are far beyond pointing fingers at others. Today, the responsibility rests squarely on us. We have failed to follow Jesus. We have bowed our knee to the idol of control and power. We have sinned against you, O God.
By wearing his name but not his heart, we have done great damage to the name of Jesus.
Open our eyes to see the damage in which we have been complicit. Break our hearts for our complicity in the strife and anger and hatred that grows unchecked all around us.
Almighty God, we cry out for mercy. Forgive us, as followers of Jesus Christ. Forgive us as citizens of this country. And forgive us as citizens of the kingdom both here now and to come.
We repent and turn away from the entanglements that have led to this moment, and we turn back to you, oh Lord.
Guide our steps in the days to come to be salt and light, peacemakers and reflections of the one we follow and serve, Jesus Christ.
In his name, we pray,