God of yesterday, and God of the here and now—
My neighbor says they are hungry.
And you say, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Mark 12:31)
My neighbor says they are tired.
And you say, “encourage one another, and build each other up.” (1 Thessalonians 5:11)
My neighbor says they need a home.
And you say, “do not forget to show hospitality to strangers.” (Hebrews 13:1-2)
My neighbor says the media portrays them unfairly.
And you say, do not “pass judgement on someone else,” for you only “are condemning yourself.” (Romans 2:1)
My neighbor says they are afraid.
And you say, “above all, love each other deeply.” (1 Peter 4:8)
My neighbor says that they are discriminated against.
And you say, “do justice.” (Micah 6:8)
My neighbor says that their voice goes unheard.
And you say, “Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.” (Isaiah 1:17)
My neighbor says that some people are better than others.
And you say, “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
My neighbor says that the world doesn’t value them.
And you say, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.” (Jeremiah 1:5)
My neighbor says, that they feel alone.
And you say, “I will be with you always.” (Matthew 28:20)
God, I must confess, some days I am painfully aware of the fact that I am getting it wrong. Some days it feels like I am standing on the wrong side of the Red Sea, or that I am chasing a star that never gets me to Bethlehem, when I want to be standing in your promised land and at the foot of your manger.
God, I am like my neighbor. I am afraid.
I am tired, and weary, and worried that I will just keep getting it wrong.
So God, I say to you, will you ever give up on me?
And you say,
“When you were a child, I loved you, and I called you out of Egypt. It was I who taught you to walk. I took you up in my arms; but you did not know that I healed you. I led you with cords of human kindness, and with bands of love. I bent down and fed you. How could I give you up?” (Hosea 11)
So God, can you use me?
You are the God of yesterday. You are the God of today and you are the God of tomorrow.
Thus, when it feels as if the darkness might overcome the light, and that we may never get it right, remind me that you gave me eyes to see, ears to hear, and a heart to love.
Remind me that I have arms to hold, feet to go, and the memory to know that it was you who delivered the Israelites out of Egypt.
Forgive me for the moments when I don’t.
In the name of Jesus,