Not the God We Would Have Chosen

I was flipping through a favorite book of prayers tonight, a slim volume penned by Walter Bruggemann, and once again encountered the prayer with the same title as this post.  I smiled, just a bit wryly, as I read the prayer, considering how true the words are of the journey I’ve walked with Jesus these last few months, and knew I needed to share this prayer here, in this space where I’m chronicling this walking to new places.

We would as soon you were stable and reliable.
We would as soon you were predictable
and always the same toward us.
We would like to take the hammer of doctrine
and take the nails of piety
and nail your feet to the floor
and have you stay in one place.
And then we find you moving,
always surprising us,
always coming at us from new directions.
Always planting us
and uprooting us
and tearing all things down
and making all things new.
You are not the God we would have chosen,
had we done the choosing,
but we are your people
and you have chosen us in freedom.
We pray for the great gift of freedom
that we may be free toward you
as you are in your world.
Give us that gift of freedom
that we may move in new places
in obedience and in gratitude.
Thank you for Jesus
who embodied your freedom for all of us. Amen.

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