By Joanna Lawrence Shenk
We now come to a time of sharing communion together. Communion is about affirming our connection to the body, within the Christian tradition, we talk about the body of Christ and being that body together. We recognize that our collective body is in pain. We want to lift up that prayer of pain and lament as we prepare our hearts and spirits for Communion.
This is a prayer that I wrote with help from Pat and Sheri and my friend Mark Van Steenwyk who lives in Minneapolis. Other churches across the country are also praying this prayer with us today.
God of the enslaved and God of the crucified, meet us in our anger, our despair and our grief at another Black life suffocated by the enduring violence of white supremacy in this country.
Meet us with the fire of your Holy Spirit sent to renew the world. May this fire refine our vision, separating truth from lie, separating an uprising born of enduring oppression from state-sponsored, white supremacist violence.
Meet us with your justice embodied by Yeshua and the prophets, who overturned tables, disrupted the status quo, and unflinchingly spoke truth to power. Amplify our cries for justice as we say the names of precious lives lost:
(bell tolls after each name)
May the fire of the Holy Spirit ignite transformation and healing. We pray for a righteous revolution—a society that no longer oppresses Black bodies. Where Black struggle isn’t exploited for white prosperity. Where the powerful are torn from their thrones and the people can live in beloved community.
This is the message of Pentecost: that God is birthing a new world.
Come Holy Spirit, birth the new world in the shell of the old.