I Confess

The concern which I lay bare before God today is:

My concern for the life of the world in these troubled times.
I confess my own inner confusion as I look out upon the world.
There is food for all—many are hungry.
There are clothes enough for all—many are in rags.
There is room enough for all—many are crowded.
There are none who want war— preparations for conflict abound.
I confess my own share in the ills of the times.
I have shirked my own responsibilities as a citizen.
I have not been wise in casting my ballot.
I have left to others a real interest in making
a public opinion worthy of democracy.
I have been concerned about my own little job,
my own little security, my own shelter, my own bread.
I have not really cared about jobs for others,
security for others, shelter for others, bread for others.
I have not worked for peace; I want peace,
but I have voted
and worked for war.
I have silenced my own voice that it may not
be heard on the side of any cause, however right,
if it meant running risks or damaging my own little reputation.
Let Thy light burn in me that I may, from this moment on,
take effective steps within my own powers,
to live up to the light and courageously to pay for
the kind of world I so deeply desire.
—from Howard Thurman, Meditations of the Heart, p. 151, © 2022 Beacon Press. Used by permission of the Thurman Estate.

Howard Thurman (1899–1981) was an American theologian, philosopher, educator, author, and civil rights leader. Life magazine hails him as one of the great preachers of the twentieth century.

Reformed Worship 150 © December 2023 Worship Ministries of the Christian Reformed Church. Used by permission.