Constant God of Grace we have gathered in this place to give thanks and sing praise for the gifts and graces we have in our lives. For the strength to stand up this morning, we give thanks. For the food that came to us and will nourish us this day, we give thanks. We even give thanks for the breath we just took and the breath we are taking right now. Your presence not only makes life possible but it makes life worth living.

But life does not come easily sometimes and often due to the actions of ourselves and our sisters and brothers. Just as we recognize that it if your presence that makes life available to us, we recognize the times when we have taken life for granted. Our self-centeredness manifests in many different ways from greed to envy, from passive aggression to active violence. Forgive our self-centeredness in all its manifestations so that we might be able to become the people of reconciliation and grace living without guilt, shame or fear.

We seek these things not for ourselves alone, but for the world. We live in a world were guilt is plastered on television, shame is on the cover of every magazine and fear is sold to us in the evening news. While the culture moves to generate guilt, shame and fear so that people might be exploited and marginalized, you have called your Church to be a people moving to generate a different culture. A culture built not on guilt, but forgiveness; not shame but dignity; not fear but faith. We know we cannot build this culture, your kingdom, on our own. You have given us models to guide us: prophets, poets, mystics and sages. These saints have shown us so many paths which bring us closer to you and your desires. And while we are not there yet, we continue to move in that faithful direction. So give us the strength to stand in the morning and the food to nourish our bodies and the breath to keep our hearts burning for the peaceable kingdom.