Monday, September 19, 2011

The Hard Work of Reconciliation

“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire. So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison. Truly, I say to you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny. Matthew 5:21-26

You promised to be my friend
when your back is turned
my eyes fill I have heard the gossip
and I can barely pray today.

They have been overlooked as they walk
the streets jumping in alleys
avoiding for one more day being
torn up under tires.

It is hard to pray with hands
full of grief, anger and fear
hard to sing with constricting throat
closing in anguish and sadness.

We stand at the church door
and wonder where is the welcome
where is the forgiveness?

I will leave this here, and seek the other
walk the streets looking for lost sisters
brothers, our children and grandchildren
who we have failed.

Our lives so sheltered, so protected
will be shattered for love.

Our safety and righteousness is a gift
and we are invited to give it away.

"Leave your gift there before
the altar and go."

Oh God help us to know the hurt
we have caused the pain of so many,
the isolation and desolation,
and help us to face it and go.

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