A Child Laughs — Prayers of Justice and Hope (edited by Maria Mankin and Maren C. Tirabassi) Pilgrim Press, May 1, 2017
A child’s laugh should be the butterfly wing, the ripple-maker, for all the world. There are many children crying — we hear them echoing from news media. It is time to pray the change of the world in children’s laughter.
MORE THAN ONE HUNDRED themes and issues crucial to hope and justice were crowd-sourced to create this collaborative anthology of fifty-two reflections from seventy-seven writers in eleven different countries. These writers offer background, prayers, liturgy, and questions for action and reflection, and now invite readers— both individual and small groups—to join the community.
It is with great joy that Maria and I present this new volume — filled with the amazing work of so many writers. I will be sharing one or two pieces each week to showcase some of the themes and prayers. These two are the final two prayers in the book — “the last will be first.”
Súplicas e Intercessões, Luiz Carlos Ramos, translation Paulo Gustavo França
Deus Vivo e Eterno,
Lembramo-nos, nesta hora, de toda a família humana,
especialmente aquelas famílias que têm fome de comida e sede de justiça,
daquelas que perderam suas casas e sua dignidade.
Lembramo-nos dos que choram sobre seus mortos
e temem por suas vidas.
Lembramo-nos da tua Igreja,
estabelecida neste e em outros lugares,
para acender e disseminar a luz da tua graça e da tua verdade.
Lembramo-nos daqueles e daquelas que estão doentes, que estão sofrendo,
que têm decisões difíceis a tomar,
especialmente aqueles e aquelas que nos pediram para que intercedêssemos em seu favor.
Por isso, nesta hora, confiados em tua infinita misericórdia,
apresentamos-te os nomes desses nossos irmãos e irmãs:
Em silêncio, Senhor, apresentamos diante de ti, ainda,
aqueles nomes que não podemos mencionar em voz alta…
Por fim, depositamos em tuas mãos, Deus Vivo e Eterno,
nossas tarefas inconclusas, nossos problemas insolúveis,
nossas esperanças não cumpridas, nossas preocupações, angústias e frustrações,
sabendo que somente aquilo que tu abençoas é que haverá de prosperar.
Esta é a oração que fazemos
em nome de Jesus Cristo, Senhor e Salvador nosso.
Supplications and Intercessions
Living and Eternal God,
We remember, at this hour, the whole human family,
especially those families that are hungry for food and thirsty for justice,
those that have lost their homes and dignity.
We remember those who weep over their dead,
and who are fearful for their lives.
We remember your Church,
established here and in other places,
to light up and make known the light of your grace and truth.
We remember those who are sick, who are suffering,
[and] have difficult decisions to make,
especially the ones who have asked us to lift them up in prayer.
And so, at this hour, leaning on your infinite mercy,
we bring before you the names of our brothers and sisters:
In silence, God, we also place before you,
Those names we cannot say aloud…
And then, we put in your hands, Living and Eternal God,
our unfinished tasks, our unsolvable problems,
our hopes not attained, our worries, anxieties and frustrations,
confident that only that which you bless will prosper.
This is the prayer we make
in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.
Luiz Carlos Ramos is a Methodist pastor in Brazil, and also teaches liturgy and homiletics.
Not In My Image, Laura Martin
I did not make hands in my image
for them to pull triggers
and carry out instant death sentences
against my beloveds.
I did not make humankind in my image
for them to yell “Crucify, crucify,”
to construct higher walls to
keep each other out.
I did not make children in my image
for them to learn to distract themselves
from their hungers
for food and for belonging.
I did not make You in my image
to believe you are created from anything
but agape love and the wisdom and strength
to bring my image back again.
Laura Martin is an authorized minister in the United Church of Christ. She worked in homeless services for 13 years, and met many women, men, and children who had experienced insecurity, abuse, war, and lack of sanctuary. She’s been deeply impacted by their testimonies in words and in their lives.