Prayers for Pastors

This guilty peace (a prayer for pastors)

this-guilty-peaceHoly One, even before the day begins, I can picture them in the congregation:
The hopeful ones who (sort of) want me to say something, anything;
The watchful ones who worry I will stir up trouble;
The angry ones who wish I would open the door wide with my words so they can finally throw me out through it.
Most of the faces I see look like mine, Lord.
We share a common face, a similar skin tone, a style of life and personal economy. We live in the same town and see only the small reality we seek to preserve, send our children to the same school, shop in the same stores, root for the same team.
We can handle difference if it comes one person at a time, extend ourselves to welcome one family, but more feels like too many.
I picture them in my mind, frustrated by their collective will to keep a peace I fear does not please you.
Even here I hedge. I keep this peace, this guilty peace.
Embolden me, Lord, to make a different kind of peace, a peace that honors you, a peace that is inconvenient and disruptive and real, for Christ’s sake. Amen.