Thanksgiving and intercession 20 August 2017 version 2

God of all the nations

many have been gathered to you

from generation to generation

gathered that they may worship at your holy mountain

we praise you we are among those gathered into you family

a family drawn from all races, all cultures, all backgrounds

a family of all the nations

How, O Lord, can all the nations come

come to your holy mountain

where others drive them away?
Drive them away because they are foreigners

because of the colour of their skin

because of their sexuality

teach us to be more open to others, whose views and lifestyles are wildly different from our own

that, as we listen to them

as we talk with them

we come to love them and

show your love revealed in Christ

Challenging Christ

throughout your earthly life,

you challenged rules and regulations which excluded those on the margins

but in the encounter with the Canaanite woman, you seemed to turn all you’d taught on its head

though we do not fully understand what you were up to

we praise you for stopping us in our tracks

making us think deeply about what your teaching means for us

and to look at your interaction with the Canaanite woman in context of all you said and did and taught

May we recall all nations are welcome to come to you

all nations

none are better

none are superior

none are more loved

so may we challenge all systems and people who attempt to segregate

attempt to divide

attempt to drive others away

be like the Canaanite woman

defiant in the face of oppression

persistent in faith

Faith inspiring Holy Spirit

Inspire us to take more than the crumbs from the master’s table to all the nations

that God’s justice and righteousness may prevail

through our faithful, devoted prayers, action and love