of stones, walls, and humanity

I'm preparing worship for my community of faith when we gather this Sunday. We use the Seasons of the Spirit FUSION materials to shape our gatherings. The prayer of confession in the worship outline for this week involves the people holding onto a stone, then placing the stone in a basket, letting go of all we are confessing.

It felt to the worship leader and me good to offer to take the stone back, hold on to it through the week, as a prayer for others after the stories we will be hearing of two people of faith killed by other people of faith.

I've shaped different words to those in the Seasons outline, to tie in with the theme of our gathering and stories.

I pray earnestly for the wholeness of our humanity, together, as I prepare to tell stories that are quite disturbing in their portrayal of our human capacity to divide and cause harm.

stone prayer for ourselves and others

a basket of stones to be passed to all present

Stones build walls between us.
Low walls that define, help us to see,
this is us, there is you.
High walls close us in, cause
us to forget then fear the you
who is different from us.

As you take a stone from the basket,
take a stone from a wall,
for yourself, for a neighbour,
for strangers in far away troubled lands.
Take the stone, hold  the stone,
carry the stone and your prayers
through the week, and approach
the walls between us and them
seeking to see more clearly,
reach hands of love and welcome,
celebrate difference,
the rich beautiful variety
of our common, shared humanity.

in silence, or with music playing, pass the basket of stones, inviting each person to take one with them from the gathering


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