The Mirror in the Wilderness (Part 2)

Every Sunday during Lent, we will be taking time to wrestle with our place in the culture of sexual violence within our society.  While this is, unfortunately, one of many sub-cultures of a broader culture of violence in our society, we have chosen to name this one during Lent because it is not necessarily an evil that we have named before at ubc.  I’ll be the first to admit that this is difficult, but we will face this difficulty together.  

The litany included in this post is taken from a liturgy in protest of sexual violence that you can find here, and the women who put that together are putting out more material and resources here.  This group is also hosting a series of liturgies on Baylor’s campus over the next month.  The next service will be “A Space for Silence” on Tuesday, March 1st, at 8pm in Elliston Chapel.

Posted below is something I read during church on February 21.  It is the second of several pieces we will encounter in our liturgy over the next few weeks  You can read the first piece here.  If you have any questions or concerns about anything you see here, please email me at


Today we are continuing our reckoning with our place in a culture marred by sexual violence.  Last week, we acknowledged that we have a problem, one facet of which is, for some of us, our tendency to distance ourselves from situations involving sexual violence if at all possible, and identified this impulse as unlike what we might expect from Jesus, and thus as sin.  

In the coming weeks, I want to encourage you to continue to pray that the Spirit would shape your imagination regarding how you yourself might be an instrument of change in our culture of violence.  The truth is, we all have some degree of influence in our immediate social surroundings, and while knowing exactly what we can do is often times a daunting task, we can at least seek wisdom from God—to refuse to do even this is its own kind of problem.

We are going to pray together now, using words that were composed by Kendall Rothaus, Lilly Ettinger Leman, Emma Wood, Rachel Toombs, Natalie Webb, Sharyl Loeung, and Heather Mooney, in their liturgy in protest of sexual violence.  This prayer is written for the voice of survivors of sexual violence, but if you are not a survivor yourself, I want to offer you two ways of looking at this: First, we do not gather to worship together only as a group of individuals, but as a body that is united in Christ.  Therefore, the fact that these words can have a direct meaning for some of us means that they can and should be voiced by all of us as we pray together. Second, there are petitions in this prayer for particular kinds of people—compassionate listeners, faithful advocates, etc—and in praying for these things, you might think of it as a petition that God would form you into a person like that, or to help you use gifts that God has already given you to be that person for someone who needs it. 

God. In a world that has little time for us,
we want to believe that you have time.
In a culture that too easily dismisses us,
we want to believe that you care.
Among institutions that are slow to come to our aid,
we want to believe that you are eager to help.

You are our first and last resort.

 Here is our petition:

We ask for comfort and peace.

God, hear our prayer.

We ask for courage and strength.

God, hear our prayer.

We ask for Your justice and healing.

God, hear our prayer.

We ask for compassionate listeners.

God, hear our prayer.

We ask for faithful advocates.

God, hear our prayer.

We ask for bold truth-tellers.

God, hear our prayer.

We ask for personal and institutional transformation.

God, hear our prayer.

We’ll take a moment in silence now to allow the Spirit to minister to us and to continue to shape our thinking about these things.