The witnesses tell of your boundless generosity,
and their telling is compelling to us:
You give your word to call the worlds into being;
You give your sovereign rule to emancipate the slaves
and the oppressed;
You give your commanding fidelity to form your own people;
You give your life for the life of the world…
broken bread that feeds,
poured out wine that binds and heals.
You give…we receive…and are thankful.
We begin this day in gratitude,
thanks that is a match for your self-giving,
gratitude in gifts offered,
gratitude in tales told,
gratitude in lives lived.
Gratitude willed, but no so readily lived,
held back by old wounds turned to powerful resentment,
retarded by early fears become vague anxiety,
restrained by self-sufficiency in a can-do arrogance,
blocked by amnesia unable to recall gifts any longer.
Do this yet. Create innocent space for us this day
for the gratitude we intend.
we will give,
we will tell,
we will live,
your gift through us to gift the world. Amen.
—This prayer by Walter Brueggemann was taken from Awed to Heaven, Rooted in Earth: Prayers of Walter Brueggemann (2002) and reproduced by permission of Augsburg Fortress Publishers.