O God, you so loved the world that you gave your only-begotten Son to reconcile earth with heaven: Grant that we, loving you above all things, may love our friends in you, and our enemies for your sake; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.Collect for the Second Wednesday in Lent
Today our prayer calls us to be builders of the kingdom on earth as it is in heaven … a kingdom where we love both friends and enemies. It is a very tall order in the best of times — and in this era of profound polarization and deep division, the vision of a kingdom that is beloved community can seem very far away indeed. All the more reason to meditate today on these words from Kay Sylvester, Rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Tustin, reminding us of our call to both imagine and become a world that is new.
We are meant to imagine a world that is new,
A world that remembers the original shine of Eden,
When we loved and were loved, when we cared
And were cared for, before we interrupted
The round world turning.
We are meant to imagine a life that is different,
The battle banners discarded, the borders indefinite,
With oceans of grace and gentle concern for the least.
We are meant to imagine the prisons empty,
The fields rich and full for harvest,
The sun every morning and the rain in due season,
The people bowing low to one another in reverence and joy.
We are meant to imagine broad, shining rivers
Filled with fish, and the raptors wheeling above;
The dark-furred fishers, the rolling gait of bears,
The tender shyness of the furtive deer,
And to think of them as part of who we are,
All of us.
We are meant to imagine a garden again,
The people formed from light and mud
Planting only what they need, the animal eyes
Around them in the darkness shining peace.
For now, we peer through the closed gatesThe Reverend Kay Sylvester
Behind the angel with the flaming sword,
And try to imagine a world that is new.
We try to imagine a world that is new.