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God of grace and mercy, healing and hope,

 

There are times when our stuff gets in the way of your calling.

Many times we know how you’d like us to react but our own

discomforts and uneasiness cloud your vision for us. We know

you to be a welcoming God perfectly exemplified in the person

of Jesus, the one we call Christ. One who extends grace to all

people, even in crossing societal norms; yet, we find yours a

difficult example to follow.

 

O God, too often this is the case when we talk about HIV and

AIDS. We’d rather not think about how it was contracted, but

at the same time that is all we can think about. Too often we

get caught up in a spirit of retributive justice, a “you got what’s

coming to you” mentality, rather than responding out of the

grace that was first extended to us.

 

Help us, Gracious One, to truly follow the ways of the One

who healed without question, even on the Sabbath, instead of

perpetuating a culture of “unclean” lepers. And challenge us

to accept that our passing judgment against segments of our

society contribute to new HIV infections rather than reducing

them. Open our eyes—give us 20/20 vision—so that we may

see that racism, homophobia, bi-phobia, and trans-phobia,

in addition to a general reluctance to talk about sex in the

church, are all complicit in the continuing rise of HIV-infection

rates among young gay men and transgender women of color.

 

May your Holy Spirit comfort those who are hurting and

dis-comfort those of us who are complicit in their dis-ease. In

your healing and mercy, Amen.

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