Relief and Grief: A Prayer

God of our ancestors,

We cry out in lament.

There is no justice when life is lost, for it cannot be replaced.

There is no accountability when one police officer is taken away to prison while another shoots and kills a young Black girl.

There is no equality when time and again it is Black bodies who suffer en masse.

There is no sacrifice.

There is a brief moment of relief, the release that our senses did not deceive us and what we heard and saw and felt was real and Black voices were believed.

For once.

Not for always.

Until there are no more murders of Black bodies by police officers, there is no justice.

Only grief.

God of our ancestors, hear our prayer.

Call us into repentance.

May we seek not to repair a broken system but to dismantle and build something new

For yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever.
Amen and Amen.

And God of our Ancestors, an addendum:

For those of us who are white, O God Almighty, call us into accountability. Open us to our privilege.

Convict us when we easily join in protesting one day and take a day off the next because it’s too much for us, when it doesn’t cost us anything, and costs our Black neighbors everything.

Hold us responsible for our complicity in systems of sin.

Guide us into the work of justice and help us to listen to our Black and Indigenous neighbors, whose labor we have exploited and land and voices we have stolen.

Move us into the work of reparation.

For You, our Savior, came to us from an oppressed people, dying on the instrument of the empire’s criminal justice system, and overcame sin, death, and hell through Your resurrection. If we do not understand the power of the system, the power of sin and death, the power of hell on earth, we will never understand what our neighbors go through.

Convict us, O God, and send us into this holy work, even when it is painful for us to understand and accept our role in this. Even when we want to deny we are racist, convict us, O God.

For only through repentance and reparation will we know Your kingdom. Amen.

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