Daily Prayers for October 12

In 1492, the indigenous -peoples of the Americas discovered Christopher Columbus.

O Lord, let my soul rise up to meet you

as the day rises to meet the sun.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,

as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

Come, let us bow down and bend the knee : let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.

Song “Come, Ye Sinners”

Born to sin, we inherit stolen land : heal us with justice from your hand.

Psalm 62:6 9

For God alone my soul in silence waits : truly, my hope is in him.

He alone is my rock and my salvation : my stronghold, so that I shall not be shaken.

In God is my safety and my honor : God is my strong rock and my refuge.

Put your trust in him always, O -people : pour out your hearts before him, for God is our refuge.

Born to sin, we inherit stolen land : heal us with justice from your hand.

Lamentations 2:8 – 15 2 Co-rin-thi-ans 1:23 – 2:17

Born to sin, we inherit stolen land : heal us with justice from your hand.

Lakota Sioux holy man Black Elk said, “A good nation I will make live.”

Prayers for Others

Our Father

Lord, help us not to shy away from our own transgressions, neither to hold the sins of others against them, but to name sin with confidence that your forgiveness has the power to effect a just reconciliation in our world. Amen.

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you : wherever he may send you;

may he guide you through the wilderness : protect you through the storm;

may he bring you home rejoicing : at the wonders he has shown you;

may he bring you home rejoicing : once again into our doors.

Note for Columbus Day: We Need New Heroes

Many thoughtful authors have helped correct our revisionist history and our amnesia about the past. For instance, in his book Lies My Teacher Told Me, James W. Loewen points out that Columbus and the Spaniard conquerors approached the Native Americans and read aloud what came to be called “The Requirement,” which went like this: “I implore you to recognize the Church as a lady and in the name of the Pope take the King as lord of this land and obey his mandates. If you do not do it, I tell you that with the help of God I will enter powerfully against you all. I will make war everywhere and every way that I can. I will subject you to the yoke and obedience to the Church and to his majesty. I will take your women and children and make them slaves. . . . The deaths and injuries that you will recieve from here on will be your own fault and not that of his majesty nor of the gentlemen that accompany me.” Part of what we hope to do in this book, rather than read the Bible with imperial eyes, is to read the empire with biblical eyes.

In the church, we celebrate martyrs and saints, not warriors and conquistadors. The church has a rich history of celebrating particular -people. While the United States might celebrate Christopher Columbus, the church celebrates the lives of saints on feast days. We need to be about discovering lost relatives and forgotten ancestors.

History is filled with subversive “holy heroes,” such as Oskar Schindler and Harriet Tubman, and even Hollywood tells their stories in moving films like Schindler’s List and Hotel Rwanda. Sometimes we just have to discover the stories that we are in danger of losing, stories that don’t always make the news. Sure, it’s easier to build a memorial than to build a movement, and we’re always better at sculpting our saints than following them. But we have to remember the stories of -people who have lived and died well.

Who are your heroes? Take a few minutes to say their names out loud and thank God for them. For bonus points, sing “When the Saints Go Marching In” when you are finished.

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