The world of fast money,
And loud talk,
And much hype
Is upon us.
We praise huge men whose names will linger only briefly.
We will eat and drink,
And gamble and laugh,
And cheer and hiss,
And marvel and then yawn.
We show up, most of us, for such a circus,
For such an indulgence.
Loud clashing bodies,
Violence within rules,
And money, and merchandise, and music.
And you Lord – like every day –
You govern and watch and summon,
You are glad when there is joy in the earth,
But you notice our liturgies of disregard and
Our litanies of selves made too big,
And our fascination with machismo power,
And our lust for bodies, and big bucks.
And around you gather, as every day,
Elsewhere uninvited, but noticed by you,
Those disabled and gone feeble,
Those alone and failed,
Those uninvited and shamed.
And you, Lord, whose gift is more than “super,”
Overflowing, abundant, adequate, and sufficient.
The day of preoccupation with creature comforts writ large.
We pause to be mindful of our creatureliness,
Our commonality with all that is small, vulnerable and exposed,
Your creatures called to obedience and praise.
Give us some distance from the noise,
Some reserve about the loud success of the day,
That we may remember that our life consists
Not in the things we consume,
But in the neighbors we embrace.
Be our good neighbor that we may practice
Your neighborly generosity all through our needy neighborhood.
~Taken from Prayers for a Privileged People by Walter Brueggemann