Lord, our God, you know who we are: People with good and bad consciences; satisfied and dissatisfied, sure and unsure people; Christians out of conviction and Christians out of habit; believers, half-believers, and unbelievers.
You know where we come from: from our circle of relatives, friends, and acquaintances, or from great loneliness; from lives of quiet leisure, or from all manner of embarrassment and distress; from ordered, tense, or destroyed family relationships; from the inner circle, or from the fringes of the Christian community.
But now we all stand before you: in all our inequality equal in this, that we are all in the wrong before you and among each other; that we all must die someday; that we all would be lost without your grace; but also that your grace is promised to and turned toward all of us through your beloved Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ.
We are here together in order to praise you by allowing you to speak to us. We ask that this might happen in this house in the name of your Son, our Lord. Amen.
- Karl Barth