This excerpt presents a day of prayer taken from Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals, by S. Claiborne, E. Okoro, & J. Wilson-Hartgrove. // Perhaps it's easiest to do good deeds when we're spurred on by a vision of the Kingdom of God?
Dreams to Live by
Frederick Douglass was born a slave in Maryland. His mother died shortly after his birth, and he was raised by his grandparents. A resourceful youth, he learned how to read and write by giving away food in exchange for reading lessons from neighborhood kids. Before long he was able to teach other slaves to read the Bible through weekly Sunday schools.
Frederick Douglass photographed circa 1879.
In 1838, at the age of twenty, Douglass escaped from slavery by impersonating a sailor and went on to become one of the most famous abolitionists and leaders in US history. He was a firm believer in the equality of all people, whether black, female, Native American, or recent immigrant. He was fond of saying, "I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong." …
Lift us by awe at the things we see : to set our minds on none but thee.
Psalm 104:25–31 [Text to be spoken aloud, with bold text spoken by all present.]
O Lord, how manifold are your works! : in wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.
Yonder is the great and wide sea with its living things too many to number : creatures both small and great.
There move the ships, and there is that Leviathan :
which you have made for the sport of it.
All of them look to you : to give them their food in due season.
You give it to them; they gather it :
you open your hand, and they are filled with good things.
You hide your face, and they are terrified : you take away their breath, and they die and return to their dust.
You send forth your Spirit, and they are created :
and so you renew the face of the earth…
Frederick Douglass wrote in his autobiography [of pre-abolition America, in 1845], "Between the Christianity of this land, and the Christianity of Christ, I recognize the widest possible difference… I love the pure, peaceable, and impartial Christianity of Christ; I therefore hate the corrupt, slaveholding, women-whipping, cradle-plundering, partial and hypocritical Christianity of this land. Indeed, I can see no reason … for calling the religion of this land Christianity."
Jesus, even in our waking, grant us dreams by which to guide our lives. Make us to dream of justice for the oppressed, reunions for those torn from loved ones, hospitality for immigrants, and the healing of all wounds. Amen.
- Claiborne, Okoro, & Wilson-Hartgrove
Question: Hebrews 10:14 says, "Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds." What's one way someone has spurred you on to good deeds? Leave your comments on this post.
- Adam Forrest, Zondervan
(Image & some styling above are web-exclusive features and not included int the text of Common Prayer. Image by George K. Warren (d. 1884). [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons. This post does not represent the views of Zondervan or any of its representatives. The writer's personal opinions are shared only for information purposes. To receive new Zondervan Blog posts in your reader or email inbox, subscribe to Zondervan Blog.)