Generosity: A Pastoral Prayer based on Matthew 20:1-16

2017-09-24
Generosity: A Pastoral Prayer based on Matthew 20:1-16

Generous God,

In the beginning, when the world was still on the edge of beginning, you took the clay of the earth and shaped us in your image. You filled us with your life-giving Spirit and set us in the Garden of Life that we might delight in all that you had created.

Yet from the beginning, we have forgotten that you are the Creator and we the created. That we are created in your image, but you are not created in ours. Like Adam and Eve, we hide when you draw near, forgetting that you do not judge as we do, that you are the source of our ability to forgive and begin again.

Like the Israelites, hungry and lost in the desert, we, too, grumble when life gets hard, forgetting that your vision is bigger and broader than ours, that you are always calling us to places of freedom, even when it means we must first traverse parched land.

And we are not so different from the workers hired early in the morning, frustrated that life does not feel fair, focused on making sure we get what we deserve, forgetting that you do not operate the way that we do.

Expand our vision, holy God. Remind us again and again, that you are the Creator and we the created. Break open our assumptions and direct our attention away from ourselves and toward those who remain on the corner, waiting to work. Recalibrate our vision so that we can celebrate the times when your generosity makes a mockery of our notions of fair and just.

Giving God, we live in a world where it is easy to forget that you call us to all that is good for the sake of the world. When storms rage and earthquakes topple cities, we give thanks that we are safe, and forget that others have lost everything. When diseases ravage and death takes hold, we list the ways in which we are different, and thus not at risk of losing so much. When economies fail and jobs are lost, we give thanks that we are secure and forget that what we might give could mean the difference for others. Help us, holy God, to transform our gratitude into generosity that all that we have been given might be a gift for others. In the name of the one who came and gave the gift of life itself, Amen.

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