As we celebrate the Australia Day long weekend a dear friend of mine, Ellen Beasy (who currently serves as the South Australian Chaplain for Mission Australia) shared the following prayer with her Facebook friends. I thought it was beautiful and asked her if I could share it with you here.
An Australia Day Lament
By Ellen Beasy
Father, today we come before You in honesty to recognize the light and shade of this day we acknowledge as a significant one in our country’s story.
Along with the many things we celebrate today, we follow along a well trodden path of your people and approach you with a lament.
We lament with and before You over the pain this day has caused our Indigenous brothers and sisters and the way that not all of history’s pages advance a fair Australia.
We lament with and before You the gap we have all allowed to stand between their health, education and employment opportunities and the lifestyle many of us feel entitled to.
We seek Your forgiveness for our apathy in allowing our fellow Australians to live with the weight of social prejudice, injustice and disadvantage. We grieve with You for those who do not experience life in our country to be joyful, fair, or something to celebrate today.
We repent over forgetting Your call for us to be Your people; blessed to be a blessing. We repent over our subsequent greed and refusal to freely share our boundless plains.
We take Your call to live out Your kingdom seriously and ask for wisdom,clarity and direction in how to do that in the face of a myriad of conflicts and complicated social issues around us.
Help us to trust Your passion for an Australia Fair, to believe in Your goodness and power and will to bring about unity and compassion amongst us.
Let us say no to Australians merely being known amongst the world as beer guzzling, barbecue gluttonizing beach goers and yes to Your vision for us to make your name, freedom and love known amongst those here and on their way.
Thank You that You are already at work, have always been at work and will continue to act in and through us as we join You in setting this world to rights.