three-handsLast week saw the events of the mass shooting at Emanuel AME church in Charleston S.C. The other day the state Governor, backed by other politicians, called for the removal of the Confederate Flag over the state Capitol Building. The flag has long been a symbol that has divided people. In light of the events of the past week and the call to remove this flag, I wonder what other symbols are dividing us?

Whether it be race, class, gender or some other symbol we are divided. While at times I have reflected that this is reflective of the diversity of the body of Christ, are we too divided? Are there some symbols or issues upon which we need to do away with? How has being diverse on certain issues been to the determent of God’s redemptive work in creation?

With this in mind today I would call us to unite, to be of one mind under God. To remember that God created and called each of us.

Gracious and loving God, within the bounty of creation we have flourished as a species. We have named and cataloged all things, just as you have asked us to do. However, in doing so we have separated ourselves from one another. We have built up walls and classifications which have kept us apart, rather than drawn us together. Help us to see that in you we are truly one people. Remind us that your son Jesus Christ came for all people, of all colour, in all places and at all times.

Be with those who have suffered violence, grant peace and healing. Remind us always that your grace and mercy prevails in our lives. Be with those who seek to do harm. Provide for them another course, assist us in helping them deal with their anger.

In all things remind us that we are your children. In Jesus name, Amen.