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Gracious God, most who first heard the liberating gospel of Jesus Christ lived their whole lives in circumstances beyond their control, constrained and oppressed by empire, bigotry, and subsistence economics. If we have grown used to imagining ourselves in control of our destiny, and yet now feel overwhelmed by bad news, send your Holy Spirit to dispel the illusion of our powerlessness. For Christ made us free in him to proclaim the good news of freedom, justice, and love to all your people. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.