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Dear Jesus–

Jesus whose love healed a man whose demons were legion; Jesus whose omniscience did not interrupt when Mary took him for a gardener but instead asked her to name her sorrows; Jesus whose mercy changed his disciples from adolescents who jockeyed for the best seat in paradise to apostles who threw the doors of Christ’s kingdom wide open–

Dear Jesus, have mercy on us.
Our demons, too, are legion. So we ask you to heal us. Heal the wounds we have inflicted, and heal the hurts we have suffered at the hands–and tongues–of others. Heal us of the hereditary sickness of white supremacy. Heal the generational injuries that Black and brown people bear. We do not ask to forget our scars. We ask for Jubilee.

Dear Jesus, have mercy on us.
Our sorrows, like Mary’s, you know by heart. And still you listen.
So we pray for those who grieve.
Crucified God, bind up the brokenhearted.
We pray for those who suffer illness or injury.
Resurrected Lord, let our sorrows leave us clear-eyed so that we can see you beside and before us.
And we pray for those who find themselves startled by joy.
Holy Spirit, let us not slight the fruits of love and joy and peace, of patience and goodness and kindness, of faithfulness and gentleness and self-control.

Dear Jesus, have mercy on us.
For we too jockey for favor, as if your love were as finite as our own. Which is why we pray, too, for those with whom we can hardly bear to break bread.
Ascended Christ, remind us that it is your body, given for us. Remind us that the feast is yours. And even where we are not of one mind, let us be of one heart: yours.
Master of the Universe, clothe us not in rightness but in righteousness, and keep even our bitterest disappointments from leaving us bitter.
Jesus, have mercy on us.
Let the circle be unbroken.
Amen.

Jane Zwart

Jane Zwart teaches English at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She also co-directs the college's Center for Faith and Writing.

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