Thursday, May 04, 2017
I am Queer. I am on the gender continuum (two spirit). I am an Anglican Universalist Humanist New Thought Christian Pluralist. I am by both accident of birth and full participation an American citizen. I am fully human (this will be news to certain kinds of religious extremists and politicos). I am a person who benefits from unearned white privilege who is trying to dismantle racism (society's and my own). I am a person who has lived with HIV for decades. I am married and there are two Y chromosomes in my marriage. For some reason, TODAY, I felt the need to be crystal clear about all of that.
The National Day of Prayer is held annually on the first Thursday of May, inviting people of all faiths to pray for the nation. It was created in 1952.
Let us pray for the United States of America:
O God whose kin-dom knows no geographical borders, we affirm today that your benevolent omnipresence enfolds and includes all life. And we take great comfort in that truth today; and comfort is needed.
The politics of self-interest which would deny care to some who need it most frightens us, and so we pray - God have mercy.
The politics of division, where large segments of the human family are dehumanized and demonized, leaves us desperately sad. God have mercy.
The politics of domination makes us anxious and concerned. God have mercy.
Attitudes which seek to exclude people because of who they love, how they identify themselves, how they pray, or where by accident of birth they started life seem to run rampant, and so we pray - God have mercy.
Violence is ever with us. God have mercy.
Mistrust plagues us individually and collectively. God have mercy.
Racism infects our hearts and our institutions. God have mercy.
Xenophobia, transphobia, misogyny, and heterosexism all seem to be experiencing a collective and unholy revival. God have mercy.
Our very earth seems to be at risk, and not only of being harmed, but of having that harm ignored for profit. For our earth, our mother, our home we pray - God have mercy.
Mass incarcerations, the threat of war, illness, poverty…there are so many needs to address. For those trying to address them, please give them wisdom and strength and courage.
We know all nations face times of economic difficulty, or conflict, or vulnerability in the face of natural disasters, and we know that you have blessed the human family with resilience and the grace to hope even in the most dire of circumstances, and so we remember today that whatever frightens us will not last forever, but dignity and grace and the possibility of healing will last. We know that faith, hope, and love all endure, and that the greatest of these gifts is love. Let us today embrace the power of love. Let us love ourselves, and our neighbors, and our enemies, and our country, and our world and may this love bring healing wherever, whenever, and however it is most needed.
On this day of prayer, let us also call to mind people of faith: those who embrace Judaism, those follow the way of Jesus, those whose prophet is Muhammad, those who identify as Sikh, those who seek enlightenment as Buddhists, those who worship as Hindus, those who keep the traditions of the native ancestors of this land alive, those whose faith is in human potential, those who place their faith in science, those who faith is unnamed but no less dear and sustaining to them…may our various faiths bring out the best in us and help us see and honor the best in one another.
God bless this country and help us be kinder, more inclusive, more just, more peace loving, and more willing to assure the well-being of all who call this land their inherited or their chosen home. God, in your mercy, hear our prayer. Amen.
Rev. Dr. Durrell Watkins
As sent out via Constant Contact
As sent out via Constant Contact