“Our manifold sins and wickedness…”

…Our manifold sins and wickedness                                                                                          which we from time to time                                                                                                    most grievously have committed                                                                                          through thought, word and deed,                                                                                    against thy divine majesty,                                                                                                        provoking most justly                                                                                                                    thy wrath and indignation against us…

Today the students are protesting, crying out in prophetic voices that “we”,  the adults of this nation, have left undone what we could have done to protect the children we seemingly disingenuously claim to treasure. Given current practices, it appears that a bizarre reading of the Second amendment, places those rights to own personal weapons of war trump (pun intended) the lives of 2,000+ murdered children since Sandyhook.

That quote above comes from the Book of Common Prayer, and is part of the prayers said just before the blessing and eating of bread and wine. They are words intended to help make right what is wrong, to clean out what should not be within us, to bring back together again, what has come apart.

Perhaps there was as a time when it was easier to place this set of sins and wickedness out of reach into some separate category of private, individual sins, which, for the most part, pertained to people other than ourselves. Whatever our sins might be, surely they were not yet bad enough to belong in the category of “wickedness”.

I am trying to figure out if this has changed or if in fact we have simply, finally begun to appreciate how deeply and insidiously our personal failings, aka “sins” contribute to overt wickedness. Now, in this mess, this language that in the past was to me, a gross, unnecessary, and inappropriate exaggeration, fits very well. What we are living through now, in terms of children, Creation, and those on the edges, falls solidly into the category of “sins and wickedness.”

These children who march, and speak out with great conviction, daring, and LIFE, are children who must be heard. As bad as things look some days on the front page of the NYT, these children give me such great hope. And no, I am not going to join the chorus of “we too were like that then, but now we have grown up and live in the real world”, the one that is such a mess.

I’m going back to those very old words of “our manifold sins and wickedness” and continue chewing on them. I don’t yet know the details of where they lead in this situation.  Yes, for me, the do lead to that blessing and eating of bread and wine as I try to figure out what to do about my own sins and wickedness and the part they play in the wider unfolding against children, Creation and those on the edge.

About kathrynrickert

Possibly from watching the movie Bambie at the age of 6, I have had a life-long awareness that saying ONLY nice things, does not make the world just or kind. Thus, my 2009 doctoral dissertation..."Talking Back to God" , is one of the main aspects of the work I do. Always interdisciplinary, seeking connections across borders that are usually marked with DO NOT ENTER, I seek to pay attention, pray, think, create,and imagine using biblical laments, Christian worship texts, and the ordinary stuff of everyday life.
This entry was posted in God at Gatherings, God in Struggle and Distress, God in the Streets, Journey. Bookmark the permalink.

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