Resources

Martin Luther on Privilege 

“In every kingdom, in every empire, there are privileged men, that is to say, eminent persons with rights beyond the ordinary; and the source of these privileges is that by birth or office they are closer to the person of the prince.  It  belongs to the sovereign’s greatness and majesty that the lustre of his crown should  be in some sort reflected on those who approach him near. 


Now we know from Holy Writ that the Church is a kingdom well-ordered; do not doubt then that it too has privileged men.  And whence will they gain their privileges but from fellowship with its prince, Jesus Christ?  But if we would be united with Christ, let us not look among the rich for the privilege of Holy Church.  Our monarch’s crown is a crown of thorns, its luster is suffereing and affliction.  In the poor, in those who suffer—there dwells the majesty of the spiritual kingdom.  Christ himself being poor and needy, it was right that he should enter into fellowship with those like him, and shed his favours on those who share his lot.”

Scripture citations with the above quote:  Matthew 20:16 “The last shall be first, and the first last.” and Psalm 72:13 “He shall spare the poor and needy, and save the souls of the poor.”

All of the above is from “On the Eminent Dignity of the Poor in the Church”

Prayers

For the Human Family        

O God of all, with wonderful diversity of languages and cultures you created all people in your image.  Free us from prejudice and fear, that we may see your face in the faces of people around the world; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.  Amen

O God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son.  Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred that infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and through our struggle and confusion, work to accomplish your purposes on earth; so that, in your good time, every people and nation may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.  Amen

For Social Justice

Grant, O God, that your holy and life-giving Spirit may move every human heart: that the barriers dividing us may crumble, suspicions disappear, and hatreds cease; and, with our divisions healed, we might live in justice and peace; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen

For the Oppressed

Look with mercy, gracious God, upon people everywhere who live with injustice, terror, disease, and death as their constant companions.  Rouse us from our complacency and help us to eliminate cruelty wherever it is found.  Strengthen those who seek equality for all.  Grant that everyone may enjoy a fair portion of the abundance of the earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen

Above prayers are from Social Ministry (page 79),  Additional Prayers (pp.72-87), The Church Year (pp. 13-87), Evangelical Lutheran Worship