Chasing a Star
By Sarah Are
God of yesterday, and God of the here and now.
My neighbors say they are hungry. And you say, Love your neighbor as yourself.
My neighbors say they are tired. And you say, Encourage one another, and build each other up.
My neighbors say they need a home. And you say, Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers.
My neighbors say the media portrays them unfairly. And you say, You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself.
My neighbors say they are afraid. And you say, Above all, love each other deeply.
My neighbors say they are discriminated against. And you say, Do justice.
My neighbors say their voices go unheard. And you say, Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.
My neighbors say some people are better than others. And you say, There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
My neighbors say the world doesn't value them. And you say, Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.
My neighbors say they feel alone. And you say, I will be with you always.
God, I must confess, some days I am painfully aware of the fact that I am getting it wrong. Some days it feels like I am standing on the wrong side of the Red Sea, or that I am chasing a star that never gets me to Bethlehem, when I want to be standing in your promised land and at the foot of your manger. God, I am like my neighbor. I am afraid. I am tired, and weary, and worried that I will just keep getting it wrong.
So God, I say to you, will you ever give up on me? And you say, When you were a child, I loved you, and I called you out of Egypt. It was I who taught you to walk. I took you up in my arms; but you did not know that I healed you. I led you with cords of human kindness, and with bands of love. I bent down and fed you. How could I give you up?
So God, can you use me? You are the God of yesterday. You are the God of today and you are the God of tomorrow. Thus, when it feels as if the darkness might overcome the light, and that we may never get it right, remind me that you gave me eyes to see, ears to hear, and a heart to love. Remind me that I have arms to hold, feet to go, and the memory to know that it was you who delivered the Israelites out of Egypt. Forgive me for the moments when I don't.
In the name of Jesus, Amen
Sarah Are is a creative collaborator with Sanctified Art, a ministry created to respond to the fear and stifled imagination that prevent too many clergy and congregations from embracing creativity. A "craftivist," Sarah writes creative liturgies, creates Bible Concept Maps, and helps churches plan creative worship. She also writes a food blog at A Rented Kitchen.