Holy and Just God,
today as I pray I find myself weary, weary even before the “seasonal adverts” have started in earnest, filling our screens with romantic images of consumption gone mad.
How often must we soothe our souls with parties, and what on earth is Halloween Whisky anyway?
How often must we hide behind tinsel and trappings making the unimportant important and neglecting the poor again?
Do I sound like the Grinch? Am I miserable and miserly, I pray that I am not…
But I am weary, I am weary of this seasonal treadmill that never ends, where one holiday replaces another and we will soon see mince-pies sitting beside hot-cross buns, with Valentines roses and Halloween pumpkins jostling for attention between them….
Then there are other holidays, crossing cultures we celebrate St Patrick’s day, Thanksgiving, Diwali, the list grows and grows which might be okay if we were content with simple celebration, but no…
No, our greed dictates that we use every excuse to consume, until we are drowning in an excess that cushions us against the harsher realities of those who are starving and crying out for the crumbs we drop….
Are we like the rich man storing our treasure in barns, oblivious to our own shared mortality?
Holy and just God,
Stir our hearts to true celebration, help us to see the enormity of the gift of life and help us to want the best for one another regardless of race or colour or creed.
Help us to dare to step off the treadmill, to refuse to dive headlong into greed yet again. Help us to open our eyes and our hearts, our hands, homes and purses/ pocketbooks to our neighbours near and far.
Holy, just and loving God, help us to take Jesus as our pattern:
Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross! (Philippians 2)
Such self-giving should stir us to action, call us beyond ourselves, until compelled by love we find ourselves caught up into true celebration where none are excluded…
Holy, just and loving God, grant us your eyes to see, your heart to share, your wisdom and strength to celebrate the truth….
Everything we have comes from you.