Submitted by Rev. Rebecca Page Lesley, Suffolk Presbyterian Church
Merciful God, you teach that we should love our neighbors as ourselves. We confess that we mostly just love ourselves. We see those who are different than we are and we harbor fear and suspicion. We forget that they too, are your beloved children. O God, have mercy on us.
In our search for safety, we have put others at risk and though many lives have been lost, we have not found the security we seek. Forgive us, Lord, for our misplaced sacrifices. Have mercy on us.
Christ teaches that we should forgive, but we like to hold on to grudges and they become our own weapons of mass destruction. We seek to be controllers of rather than partners in our relationships—even our relationship with you, O Lord. Have mercy on us. Forgive our faults, strengthen our weaknesses, and lead us forth in love.