Almighty God –
You have created us in your image, and yet we so rarely reflect your presence. Out of our ashes, show forth your beauty. In our dust and frailty, enliven and embolden us with your grace and spirit.
We know that you created us, you love us, you call us good. And yet, we deny that creation, that love, that goodness. You love us anyway. You sustain us anyway. You forgive and extend your grace anyway.
Thank you for the beauty you create out of our dust.
Out of our violence and thirst for retribution, create the beauty of reconciliation and peace.
Out of the reality of not enough – the ashes of hunger, thirst, injustice, create the beauty of enough – of enough food, water, resources, for all the world.
Out of the embarrassment of our abundance, create the beauty out of our willingness to share.
Out of the bonds of oppression and humiliation, create the beauty of freedom and dignity.
Out of the alienation of illness, or displacement, create the beauty of your healing and reunion.
Out of the suffering your children experience of body, mind or heart, create the beauty of wholeness, in this earthly life and in eternal life.
Out of our own division and wavering – in our politics, in our churches, and in our families – create the beauty of your unity and compassion.
In the ashes of these days and weeks of Lent, O God, create the beauty of a renewed spirit and sense of purpose.
God, you are our refuge and fortress, our shelter and our shade; we pray all these things in the name of Jesus Christ, we pray, Amen.