A prayer for my students on the opening week of classes

Giotto.1325.Stigmatisation of St. FrancisLord of our lives and our learning,

Today we embark on a journey of encounter, not primarily of our own convictions, beliefs, and opinions (although this will be the case as well), but we will encounter, no,

be encountered by You…

You who formed this world;

You would reconciles and redeems from sin;

You who will consummate your bride the Church in Christ’s returning.

And we…

We who follow after your constant encounter of us.

May we be humble in our tentative response to your initiative – wary of the sin of pride;

May we be joyful in the dance of self-discovery into which you invite us;

May we never forget that with knowledge of you comes great responsibility to follow after your initiative into the uncomfortable, incomplete spaces that live in this time between the times:

With the poor, those marginalized by our systems of financial prosperity;

With those living in broken bodies or with broken minds, whose dignity is daily stole by our definitions of “abled” and “disabled”;

With those whose lives have crumbled around them in the loss of those they love.

Some of us here today may identify with those places – either personally or by close association.

May what we do in this class propel us deeper into our knowledge of you and thus deeper into these spaces as we follow after your encounter.


4 thoughts on “A prayer for my students on the opening week of classes

  1. Great prayer Kent. How did you use this with your students? Did you pray this with them in class, or print it up somewhere for them to read? Where did the motif of encounter come from?

    • Thanks Geordie. I wrote it and then read it at the start of my theology courses. It would be difficult for me to point to just one thing that pulled “encounter” to the surface. I have been reading a fair amount of Barth lately – that may have had some effect.

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