O Lord Christ, Hope of the World, Savior of the Nations:
In Your blessed incarnation, You took upon Yourself human flesh (John 1:14), flesh like that of every child born in the history of the world (Gal. 4:4–5), that You might bear the sins of all humanity on a cross (John 1:29).
In Your earthly ministry, You served humankind without regard to race, even contrary to prevailing racial views of the day (Matt. 15:21–28; John 4);
From the first days of Your Church, it pleased You to gather together people without regard to race or origin (Acts 2);
Through the centuries, Your Holy Word, the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament, have borne and continue to bear witness to the truths of both reason and divine revelation—that all people are created by God, that all are equally accountable to God, and that all are equally beloved by God and redeemed by Christ (Romans 5).
You, O Lord, teach us to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:31), and that my neighbor includes everyone I meet in my daily vocations, and specifically without regard to race (Luke 10:25–37);
Forgive me, O Lord, for my many sins of commission and omission where I have failed my neighbor in thought, word or deed, especially where I have begrudged another Your compassion and love based upon race or anything else (Romans 7:19f.);
Strengthen Your Church, O Lord, that she may be a beacon of joyous unity in the Gospel and a light of blessed forgiveness and grace, calling all to repentance and to trust in Jesus as the only Savior from sin (Acts 2:38–41);
Let Your Gospel flow forth into every crooked, corrupt and hardened heart, to bring repentance, faith in Your Gospel and joy in the manifold uniqueness of Your created peoples—a very foretaste of heaven itself (Rev. 7:9);
O Lord, grant justice in Your left-hand kingdom, especially in the governments of this nation and of all the earth. Correct wrong. Punish and thwart evil, and especially racist evil. Grant peace that Your Gospel may flow all the more freely, especially to those most blinded by evil. Remind us, O Lord, of Your own prayer for those who crucified You, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:24). Let us not be overcome with anger, but overcome hatred with love.
Finally, O Lord, grant faith, peace and hope to the bereaved.
Lord, have mercy;
Christ, have mercy;
Lord, have mercy. Amen.
Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison
President, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod