O God of life and creation, this morning we realize that we live in a world of appearances. So much is merely skin deep. So much crosses the line from fair representation into fraud. Models and Hollywood celebrities are photo-shopped into supposed perfection. Advertisements for cars are severely qualified by fine print no one can read. Politicians speeches gloss over complexities and self-doubt, casting everything as certain and logical and good. So much of what we see does not represent reality.
Our God, we confess that we are at times implicated in this superficiality. We represent ourselves as composed and certain, even when we are wracked by self-doubt. We represent ourselves as happy, even when there is a definite despondency in our lives. We represent ourselves as faith-full even when doubts linger and belief slips away. We represent ourselves as morally stalwart while knowing our own brokenness.
As we gather this day, O God, we acknowledge that our lack of honesty about ourselves can become a barrier to your grace. Even in this moment of worship we ask that you would open us to the truth of who we are. By your Spirit, lead us gently and persistently into transparency before you and before one another – so that in transparency we may discover the healing of Christ, may support and encourage one another on the way with Him, and may discover the gifts you have given to us as individuals and as a Body.
O God, we offer this prayer in the name of him who is the full and honest representation of You – in whom You dwell with us and show your face to us – even Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.