Nov. 5, 2020
A daily prayer during this COVID-19 crisis
During these difficult days, Boston University School of Theology is sharing a daily prayer based on the Revised Common Lectionary for the week.
You are welcome to use these in worship or in your own devotions.
Prayer inspired by “The Tribes Renew the Covenant”
Joshua 21:1-3a;14-25 (NRSV)
24 Then Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem, and summoned the elders, the heads, the judges, and the officers of Israel; and they presented themselves before God. 2 And Joshua said to all the people, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Long ago your ancestors —Terah and his sons Abraham and Nahor — lived beyond the Euphrates and served other gods. 3 Then I took your father Abraham from beyond the River and led him through all the land of Canaan and made his offspring many. I gave him Isaac;
14 “Now therefore revere the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness; put away the gods that your ancestors served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15 Now if you are unwilling to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served in the region beyond the River or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
16 Then the people answered, “Far be it from us that we should forsake the Lord to serve other gods; 17 for it is the Lord our God who brought us and our ancestors up from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, and who did those great signs in our sight. He protected us along all the way that we went, and among all the peoples through whom we passed; 18 and the Lord drove out before us all the peoples, the Amorites who lived in the land. Therefore we also will serve the Lord, for he is our God.”
19 But Joshua said to the people, “You cannot serve the Lord, for he is a holy God. He is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions or your sins. 20 If you forsake the Lord and serve foreign gods, then he will turn and do you harm, and consume you, after having done you good.” 21 And the people said to Joshua, “No, we will serve the Lord!” 22 Then Joshua said to the people, “You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen the Lord, to serve him.” And they said, “We are witnesses.” 23 He said, “Then put away the foreign gods that are among you, and incline your hearts to the Lord, the God of Israel.” 24 The people said to Joshua, “The Lord our God we will serve, and him we will obey.” 25 So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and made statutes and ordinances for them at Shechem.
God of all humanity,
If all people and creation on the earth are called “good,”
then help us to live peaceably with one another.
Help those of us who are committed to serving you do so faithfully,
turning away from all other gods before us —
whether they be the promise of power, the fear of scarcity, or the temptation towards evil so that some may benefit.
Help us to rest securely in You and in the promises given to our ancestors,
so that we may not feel threatened by our neighbors and demonize them by comparison,
and so we never use our own power or privilege to harm others. Especially in Your name.
May we honor the land we reside on and honor the Peoples who share it with us,
always mindful of the histories of conquest and suffering that have taken place.
May we be brave enough to remember the full stories,
and may we chart a different way forward.
May we live peaceably with one another,
knowing that all You have created is good.
Jasmin Figueroa, PhD student in practical theology, studying trauma-informed and culturally sensitive pastoral care, Boston University School of Theology