Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Hump Day Prayer . . . HIV/AIDS Awareness

Call to Confession

One:
Last night 8,000 people died of AIDS.

Response:
Forgive us for our complacency.

One:
Last night 5,760 children were orphaned because of AIDS.

Response:
Forgive us for our apathy.

One:
Every 9 seconds someone new is infected with HIV.

Response:
Forgive us for not having the time to raise awareness.

One:
Every day people with AIDS starve to death, too poor to afford food and too sick to work.

Response:
Forgive us for turning a blind eye to your children.
One:
About 20% (1 in 5) of your population is infected with HIV.

Response:
God, help us to see how to help them.
One:
As Americans, many of our domestic and foreign policies think only of the bottom line; we lose sight of your children living with AIDS by supporting these policies.

Response:
Let us not be partners of greed, but of good will.

One:
As leaders of faith, we fail your children with HIV/AIDS.

Response:
Forgive us for being too busy to visit those who are sick in the hospital.

One:
As leaders of faith, we fail your children with HIV/AIDS.

Response:
Forgive us when we preach words of harm, rather than of love.

One:
As leaders of faith, we fail your children with HIV/AIDS.

Response:
Forgive us when we put those with AIDS on the back of our agenda in worship, meetings, and assemblies.

One:
As leaders of faith, we fail your children with HIV/AIDS.

Response:
Forgive us when we, as your pastors, refuse to conduct funerals for people who have died of AIDS.
One:
We stereotype your children with AIDS, we shun them, we hurt them and we disregard them.

Response:
Help us to see with the eyes of our heart, God. Help us to welcome those who are suffering into our Churches, our communities, our houses and into our hearts.

One:
AIDS has devastated your children. Millions are dying, millions are orphaned, millions are sick. Yet, we do nothing and keep “those” people at arm’s length.

Response:
Dear God in Heaven, help us.

One:
We are far from powerless in this fight against HIV/AIDS. With hearts full of love and souls full of grace we can make a difference.

Response:
Dear God in Heaven, help us to stand in solidarity with the suffering and have the courage to help those in need.

One:
Let us be comforted in the sure faith through Jesus Christ that God indeed forgives those who repent. Let us be reassured by the words of St. Augustine when he replied that love “has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten the poor and needy. It has the eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear sighs and sorrows.” That, my friends, is what love looks like.

1 comment:

Pappy McVulgar said...

I like the intent behind this confession. I am not sure I agree with the language or perspective it deals with. I agree we need to be aware of the horrible epidemic Aids/HIV is upon or world. I agree we are complacent when “them and they” are infected. I believe that if we had a similar pandemic going on here in the West we would find a cure faster.
My concern lies in the desire to build a charity or guilt response rather than one of obligation and charge. We owe it to all of creation to be good stewards. I fear that our complacency is a symptom of a guilt complex. We are bombarded with photos, stories, and pictures of starving Asian babies, infected African children, and impoverished Latin kids. The aid industry is making slaves of our brothers and sisters. We are unwittingly participating because we act in haste and thrown money at a system that glorifies itself and whips us with the chains of guilt.
We are obligated to help all! There is no deviation from this. Not because of charity and we are able. Rather we owe them and God provided abundance for us to do so. Anything less is a waste of the resources that God alone holds.