God of unconditional love,
long before we were ready
you ran to meet us,
welcomed us and embraced us
when we did not deserve it.
You lavished your love upon us.
Teach us how to receive your embrace
and extend it,
with compassion and generosity,
May we welcome the stranger and the angel,
the friend, the foe, the fool…
to our home, to our table, to our heart.
May I embrace the stranger in myself;
meet myself in the stranger;
meet Jesus in the discovery of others.
“Though you are God,
with all the influence and status that the name implies,
you refused to pull rank,
and parade your power among us.
Instead, you chose to step down into our experience,
living among us, as one of us,
with all the struggle and suffering
that goes with being human.
More than that, you adopted the role of slave,
serving people of no reputation or social standing,
and giving of yourself completely.
As incredible as it sounds,
you are the God who serves,
and we can respond in no other way
than to give ourselves to you in praise.”
John van de Laar
Where you walk,
I am walking
Where you open,
I am arriving
Where you gather,
I am meeting
Where you listen,
I am speaking.