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We are fearful folk, and we dwell in the midst of a fearful people,
fearful of our world falling apart, in terror and moral decay,
fearful of too many “dangers, toils, and snares,”
fearful of not doing well,
of being found out,
of being left out,
of being abandoned,
of our own shadow.
And then we hear, astonishingly in the midst of our fearfulness,
your mighty, “DO NOT FEAR”
do not fear, I am with you,
with you in wealth and in poverty,
with you in success and in failure,
with you for better or for worse.
We hear, we trust, we receive your comfort and are made new.
We thank you for the newness of our identity, of our trust, of our calling.
Because of your new utterance of life to us, we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea.
We, your new people, thank you for your newness and notice that you work newness among us, for we know about being, lame people who walk, blind people who see, dead people who live, poor people who are unburdened.
We rally round your newness that is both our hope and our work.
Your fearless newness into which we are immersed is beyond our expectation;
But we are not offended by it; not scandalized by you; not ashamed of your newness; not embarrassed by your healings.
We ask now for energy and freedom, rooted in your fearlessness, that we may live toward and from and for your newness that bubbles up, even in the midst of us, all around us to the uttermost parts of the earth.
We pray in the name of your fearless gift of newness who scandalizes the world and makes all things new, even Jesus. Amen.
Walter Brueggemann. Awed to Heaven, Rooted in Earth: The Prayers of Walter Brueggemann (p. 94). Kindle Edition.