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We lament, O God, the tragic display of violence at the U.S. Capitol this week,

and pray that the horror of it might open our eyes to the sins that are on the loose in the American nation.

We pray for a country so divided, so full of anger.

We confess our sins and ask for the courage to recognize our own complicity in the racism

that has warped our common life and our Christian witness,

and to hold accountable those who are responsible for causing harm.

Help us, God of justice, for we have failed to discern and to name the myriad ways

– the obvious, the subtle, the historical – in which racism has warped our common humanity.

Help us to see that which we have not been willing to see.

Claiming to be “colorblind” or “not racist,” we have failed to see racism as a disease that infects us all.

We have consciously or unconsciously supported racist policies and practices

— sometimes failing or being unwilling to see that which was right in front of us.

Forgive us for the divisions that have kept us from really knowing one another across the lines of race and religion and class,

making us oblivious to the pain, to the real-life struggles and joys of people

who don’t look like us or talk like us and who may live across town,

but who are all God’s beloved children.

Yet we know that the Spirit of the crucified and risen Christ can help us

to regain our sight,

to heal the wounds of racism in our lives and communities,

to embrace an antiracist vocation and engage in your reconciling work.

Empower us by your Spirit to become people who more fully live into the promise of our baptism

and trust your assurance that in Christ the dividing walls of hostility have come down.

We know that you have called us to be a beachhead of your new creation

— a new community united under Christ’s lordship

in which there are no longer divisions and subordinations.

Help us to live in solidarity with the excluded, the vanquished, the oppressed and disheartened.

Help us to name our own brokenness.

Empower us to stand with all who are crucified by the power of institutional violence and discrimination,

and to recognize our participation in all such inhumanity.

Enable us by your Spirit to work for and support antiracist policies and practices.

Help us to listen to and learn from one another,

to be silent in order to make space for other voices to speak.

We lament what this week has laid bare;

we ask for your strength and courage to be all you have called us to be

and to participate in your reconciling work in all the world.


Roger Gench from the Presbyterian Church