As promised, below is a reflection I used in morning prayer during the SCM conference. It is my adaptation of a prayer Garth Hewitt wrote for Greenbelt 04, based on Martin Luther King’s ‘I have a Dream Speech’.
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, and the glory of the Lord will be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.
Let freedom ring for our own preconceptions of the bible and of this world, so that we may overcome the barriers that prevent us from grasping the true freedom provided by Jesus' message of peace, love and equality.
Let freedom ring for our hearts and minds and lifestyles, so that we are part of the community of love and justice that reflects the message and ways of Jesus.
Let freedom ring for the refugees and asylum seekers who are fleeing to this land for safety but are treated first as criminals.
Let freedom ring for the forgotten children on the streets of Africa, Latin America and Asia so that the street children of today, may find dignity and a hopeful future.
Let freedom ring for the Muslims initially accused, and presumed guilty before being found innocent.
Let freedom ring from behind the wall in Palestine and across to the land of Israel so that all may live in safety, dignity and justice regardless of religion or race.
Let freedom ring for all those suffering with HIV and AIDS, so that suitable drugs will be made available to them.
Let freedom ring for our church and society so all are included with justice; regardless of ethnicity, gender or sexual preference.
Let freedom ring to every corner of our world.
This is our hope – this is our faith – and when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every town, we will be able to speed up the day when all of God's children, black and white, women and men, young and old, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old spiritual: Free at last, free at last, thank God almighty, free at last'.