A Prayer for Humanity

Lenten Reading for Thursday, March 14, 2013:

God, you too have a dream. You dream that we your human creatures will come to realize that you created us for community, for togetherness, for friendship, for gentleness, for caring, for sharing, for family; that we are members of one family, the human family, God's family, where there are no outsiders, none on the fringes, but ALL are insiders - black and white, red and yellow, rich and poor, Christian, Muslim, Jew, Hindu - people of every faith and of none. That we belong together, and that we share a common humanity created in your own image. We laugh, we love, we cry, we hurt, and we die, all without exception.

But we have so frequently shattered your dream. We have bought and sold our sisters and brothers, treating them and owning them as if they were things. You have wept as we your children have sought to wipe out whole peoples in acts of genocide and holocausts; we have dropped nuclear bombs on members of our family; we have caused untold anguish and suffering through the awfulness of racism as happened with apartheid and Jim Crowe, and rubbed the noses of our sisters and brothers in the dust in the humiliations of caste. And we have unleashed acts of unbelievable horror and terror on members of your family, our family, as happened here so recently.

Forgive us God for our blindness. Fill us anew with your grace, open our eyes that we may see the other as your child too, as our sister, our brother.

And let us help you to realize your dream; and then there will be peace and laughter and joy, and gentleness and caring and sharing, justice and forgiveness and reconciliation, and love and life.

Oh let it be so - let it be so - let it be so.

Amen, Amen, Amen.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Archbishop Desmond Tutu sent this prayer to the Host Committee in Georgetown, South Carolina, in anticipation of a prayer service in celebration of the arrival of Freedom Schooner Amistad to South Carolina in 2001.

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