Sunday, 10 October 2010

Not Quite 10 out of 10?

The tenth day of the tenth month of the tenth year of the twenty-first century — drat! Not quite 10 out of 10. Still, it was a good time to join with others on our pilgrimage to say the Micah Challenge Prayer, which draws attention to the fact we are now ten years into fifteen where the UN agreed eight Millennium Development Goals that would halve poverty by 2015. Bishop John led us together as we prayed the prayer below, in Eyn Kerem, a place associated with the Visitation and thus the Magnificat. Every Day we rejoice liturgically with Mary in a God who has put down the mighty from their seat and has exalted the humble and meek, for this is a core element in the Christian story, but it’s one on which we, even we, score less than 10 out of 10:

There has been progress in some areas, but, frankly, things are not looking good out there, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa. Having expensive wars, crime, indulging in corrupt government, and otherwise tiddling about, still seems to be more important than
  1. eliminating extreme hunger,
  2. providing primary education
  3. promoting gender equality
  4. reducing child mortality
  5. improving maternal health
  6. Combating HIV/AIDS
  7. Promoting environmental sustainability
  8. agreeing a global model for development

O Lord, our great and awesome God, loyal to your promise of love and faithful to all who honour and obey you, hear our prayer.

We pray for those who live in poverty,

we cry out for those who are denied justice and

we weep for all who are suffering.

We confess that we have not always obeyed you.

We have neglected your commands and have ignored your call for justice.

We have been guided by self-interest and lived in spiritual poverty.

Forgive us.

We remember your promises to fill the hungry with good things, to redeem the land by your mighty hand and to restore peace.

Father God, help us always to proclaim your justice and mercy with humility, so that, by the power of your Spirit, we can rid the world of the sin of extreme poverty.

As part of your global church, we stand with millions who praise and worship you.

May our words and deeds declare your perfect goodness, love and righteousness to both the powerful and the powerless

so that your Kingdom may come on earth as it is in heaven. Amen

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