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Praying for the Restoration of our Humanity: Bishop Shannon’s Ash Wednesday Message

Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me.

Psalm 51, verse 10

Like so many others, I’m especially concerned about Ukraine. I’m feeling powerless, frustrated, and angry about how systems of injustice collude with the whims of a few people who can harm so many. There are reports of Africans in Ukraine being denied transport and taken off trains. Ukrainians are being taken to safety as refugees, while Africans are being pushed back and sometimes abused at the borders.

My heart breaks for all of the people fleeing for their lives. My heart also breaks for those who, perhaps because of their legitimate terror, are not able to see the siblinghood of others who, like them, are caught up in systems that deny the humanity and dignity of all.

Humans have the capacity to be and are created for beloved community. Why is it that we can become so disconnected from one another, ourselves and the God who loves and created us for goodness?

May we begin this season of Lent praying for the restoration of our humanity, and renewed dedication to following Jesus in the way of love.

Peace and blessings,

Bishop Shannon

image: calligraphy by Bishop Shannon

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