Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Lenten Prayer - Unconditional Love


You summarized the entire volume of scripture when you told us to “Love God and love your neighbor as yourself.” The purpose behind all the instruction (law) given through history tell us how to love. You blessed us with a faith driven without conditions by care and consideration for all people. You gave us, Lord, the opportunity to enrich and be enriched with every human interaction.

But Lord, you gave this gift to humankind. You gave it to sinners. You gave it to people who struggle with the unconditional, unlimited nature of your love for your creation. Everything else in our life comes with conditions and limits. We struggle with generosity.

Some respond to your commandment to love by imposing so many rules they find fault in all people and special judgment for others. They write rules that restrict your love to their select and deny your love to everyone else. They transform holy love into an aggressive tool for persecution.  They dwell on limits and restrictions; they find comfort in that which can be measured.

Lord, we ask for strength to resist imposing our rules on those who believe differently than we do, for even those of us who proclaim justice can be drawn into imposing our own standards, our own limits of who is Christian. We are as guilty of limiting your love as those who do it to control your kingdom. And we ask for healing of hearts so broken they can only imagine limits to your grace.

As painful as it is to see the harm caused by those who choose to judge for you, Lord, whom you can love, responding in judgment only compounds the pain. In this conditional world we inhabit, help us grow an understanding of your infinite being. The better we understand that, the better we will be able to accept that the love you have for another does not diminish the love you have for us. When we finally, deeply, fully understand that your love for the rest of creation does not limit the love you have for us, we may finally begin to follow the intent of your laws and accept the blessing of loving every person in creation.