Saturday, November 15, 2008

As Worship Ends we Go to Serve

There have been a great variety of variations of the following prayer found in recent books and online. It's not the typical sugary sweet rather bland prayer, but a challenge as a benediction to end a time of worship. It's ironic how many of the Google listings I saw kept the first 5 sentences, and deleted the even more offensive and in some ways more interesting, last 2 sentences.

But this is how it is supposed to be when we finish with the ritual, the prayers, and the songs. We depart worship in order to serve God in the world, and to live as agents of reconciliation and redemption.

A Franciscan Benediction

May God bless you with discomfort… at easy answers, hard hearts, half-truths ,and superficial relationships. May God bless you so that you may live from deep within your heart where God’s Spirit dwells.

May God bless you with anger… at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people. May God bless you so that you may work for justice, freedom, and peace.

May God bless you with tears… to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation and war.

May God bless you so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and turn their pain into joy.

And may God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in this world, in your neighborhood, so that you will courageously try what you don’t think you can do, but, in Jesus Christ you’ll have all the strength necessary.

May God bless you to fearlessly speak out about injustice, unjust laws, corrupt politicians, unjust and cruel treatment of prisoners, and senseless wars, genocides, starvations, and poverty that is so pervasive.

May God bless you that you remember we are all called to continue God’s redemptive work of love and healing in God’s place, in and through God’s name, in God’s Spirit, continually creating and breathing new life and grace into everything and everyone we touch.

Source: “Troubadour: A Missionary Magazine,” published by the Franciscan Missionary Society, Liverpool, UK: Spring 2005. As found on

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