God, Re-member us

A Litany/Prayer for 9/11

Oh God,

It was the clearest, crisp-blue September sky

split wide open

rent like temple curtains

torn by grief in the aftermath of violence.

We remember.  

We remember.

It was an ordinary, go about one’s business day

divided into the time before

and what came after:

swords into plowshares

or plowshares into swords?

We remember.

We remember.

It was a nation bewildered

“why are we so we hated?”

so many gone like vapor

so many others who emptied themselves of fear

saving strangers—all were neighbors.

We remember.

We remember.

It was extremism,

like that of extremists of any stripe.

We remember.

We remember.

It was radical fundamentalism

like that of radical fundamentalists of every hue.

We remember.

We remember.

It was bellies full of frustration

It was bellicose bullies

It was explosive anger

It was a thirst to make others hurt, to be heard,

to be seen to be powerful.

We remember.

We remember.

It was hubris.

It was hideous.

We remember.

We remember.

Oh God,

on this clear, crisp September morning

cauterize our long-broken hearts

take what has been dismembered

and put us together again.

God, re-member us.

God, re-member us.

Mend our grief,

forgive our violence,

help us to go on our way

determined that after this

peace will be our solace

and shalom will be our way.

God, re-member us.

God, re-member us.

Guide us as a nation

to lead in the ways of justice

and the rights of all.

Forgive us all the lives lost

in twenty years of war.

Remind us that every single death-civilian or soldier,

our side or “the other”

was someone created and loved by You.

God, re-member us.

God, re-member us.

Let us be extremists only on the side of love.

Let our fundamentalism be grace alone.

Fill our bellies with gratitude.

Help us pour heaping bowls of kindness upon

those who oppose us.

Use our weakness as a strength.

Give us humility

that we might reflect your artistry.

Make us hunger and thirst to be like Jesus

who turned the other cheek,

God, re-member us

God, re-member us.

To be like Jesus who walked the second mile,

God, re-member us

God, re-member us.

To be like Jesus who gave his cloak and his coat as well,

God, re-member us

God, re-member us.

To be like Jesus who bore no arms,

but whose arms bore the weight of our sin.

God, re-member us

God, re-member us.

As we remember Jesus in whose name we pray.

Amen.

Amen.