Heavenly Father, we come to you now. Lord, you are the almighty Creator who has placed your image in every created person. The expression of our differences, our cultures, our languages, our ethnicity are all part of your magnificent pallet and from the beginning of time you have called these unique expressions of your children, “good.”
But Father, we mourn right now! We cry out in despair because an evil lie has snuck into our consciousness, into the very fabric of society. This lie which runs directly against your Spirit says that those whose skin color is light are more valuable than those whose skin color is dark.
This lie has become so insidious, so ever-present that it is hard for those of us who have light skin to recognize it. Indeed, it has become the wallpaper of our minds and we hardly recognize the ways that it has boosted our lives, while simultaneously cutting the legs out from underneath our brothers and sisters with dark skin.
Oh, Father! Those of us who have light skin fall before you and confess our sin of willful obliviousness! We have wanted so desperately to be good, to do right, to walk humbly before you, to love mercy, and to do justice and yet here in our homes, in our communities, even in the very comfort of our own Wesleyan churches, the lie of racial value has proliferated!
Lord, it has been so painful to acknowledge this lie of racial value because it helps us get by in society, it allows certain doors to open for us, it makes low for us certain obstacles.
Forgive us Jesus, please forgive us for cherishing this deep-down dark advantage. It is so nice to have and so hard to give up. But we remember Jesus that you told us that if we are to follow you, we must lay down our lives. We must die to ourselves. We recognize, in this moment in history, that laying down our lives means that we need to kill the lie that says those of us who have light skin are more valuable than those who don’t, and we need to die to the quiet but powerful benefits this lie lends us in society.
Oh Father, forgive us! Forgive us! Our communities are rioting now. Their voices have been silenced and ignored for so long that they feel they have no other way to be heard except through violence, and this too is our sin. We should have been listening all along to the voices of the “least of these,” we should have been taking their pain and grief seriously and we should have been acting! We should have moved with the radical subversive power of your love Jesus to remove the weight from our brothers and sisters’ necks so that they could breathe.
Our brothers and sisters with darker skin than our own have been telling us all along that this lie exists, that the lie was killing them, and that they needed our help to get rid of it.
Oh, Lord, the shame we feel over our inaction scours our hearts. Oh, would it be that we had listened sooner, truly listened, and acted. Oh! That we would have listened to your still small voice prompting our hearts, troubling our spirits all along! Jesus you have been speaking. You have been calling us to see and hear and move, but we have been blind and deaf and immobile. All thanks to the intoxicating effects of power.
Jesus, by your blood, deliver us, please. Show us how to repent. Rescue us from our hunger and desire for power and pleasure, comfort and advantage, for it is these things that have allowed us to turn a blind eye to the suffering of our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Lord we need you now, more than ever. Our country is hurting. Our communities are torn apart by this lie. The rupture runs all across our nation.
We confess now that no powers of government of this world can kill the lie of racial value or heal our country. Only you can Jesus, by your blood and your inexorable love.
We are not worthy of your rescue. We have proven ourselves completely out of reach of your righteousness and glory.
So we throw ourselves now on your mercy. Draw near Jesus, draw near and do not let us go until the last dregs of this poisonous lie are burned from our souls, our hearts, our homes, our churches. Wage war now, Jesus, on the lie of racial value as it has taken root in us! Pull it out, we cry! By your power and your blood. Pull it out! Because we can not.