Focus Scripture – Isaiah 1:16-17 (NRSV) – Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your doings from before my eyes; cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow.
God of Justice, thank you for speaking to us through your prophets. Your mercy endures forever, and you demonstrate over and over again that you are the keeper of the lost and homeless. We have fallen short of what you have told us to do. Please show us new ways to love each other the way you commanded. Help us to learn from the lessons of the past — seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow. Give us the words we need to speak out against these sins when we see them committed in high and low places. Forgive us, O God. Help us surrender our wills to your holy will. Have mercy on us, we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.