Image: George Mendoza
Good morning, good God!
Yesterday, in the gospel, Lord,
we walked along the road that leads
from Jerusalem down to Jericho...
This week we'll walk again the roads that lead
to and from our homes, to work, to school, to church,
to the city and the country, to homes of friends and family,
to vacation and the job hunt, to the doctor, to a meeting,
a volunteer site, beach or park,
to the airport, train or bus stop...
At every corner, every crossroad,
every junction on my way,
I walk the road you spoke of Lord,
from Jerusalem to Jericho, and back...
So many times, Lord, along the paths I walk,
others have stopped to help me, lift me up, give me a hand,
to offer me support and a listening heart,
to bandage my hurts and mend my broken parts,
to get me help I needed and show me where to go...
I offer you my gratitude this morning, Lord,
for all the Samaritans who stopped along their way,
interrupted their day, gave me their time -
the ones who did not cross to the other side and move on
but who stopped and stayed:
for these true neighbors, Lord,
I offer you my Monday morning praise...
But at other times, Lord, when I've been in need,
those who crossed my path have not stopped,
have ignored, forgotten, failed to see me
even right beside them:
even some whose task it was to care for me
crossed the street, Lord,
and moved on,
leaving me behind...
Help me forgive them, Lord,
to try to understand
how they didn't see me,
what might have been their hurry,
what greater cares were on their minds
and in their hearts:
help me forgive them, Lord...
I offer to your arms the ones who passed me by
and pray their eyes be open to others,
farther down the road,
who'll need their hand and help...
And what of those along my way, Lord,
the ones that I've passed by?
Those who tugged my sleeve, cried for help
or in silence, called my name?
Whose wounds have gone untended, Lord,
because I was in a hurry?
Whose broken heart went unmended
while I cared only for my own?
Whose wants and needs were never met
because my arms, so full of things I do not need,
could not reach out to help?
Forgive me, Lord, for all the times when,
somewhere between Jerusalem and Jericho,
I failed to see my neighbor
waiting for me to come along,
hoping I might be the one
to stop, to speak, to touch, to care, to heal, to help...
I offer for your mercy
all times I failed along the road
to see you in my neighbor, Lord...
Help me, Lord, and hear my prayer:
along my path I've fallen, I'm wounded
and I need for you to stop
and care for me...
Heal and strengthen me, Lord,
to care for those I meet along my way,
along the roads that run from Jerusalem
down to Jericho...
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Posted by Concord Pastor at 12:05 AM