Thursday, November 20, 2008

post-election interfaith prayer

I shared this prayer tonight at an interfaith community thanksgiving dinner held at our local LDS Stake building.

Holy Spirit of Life and love, whom we know in so many forms and whom we name with so many names,

We come together this evening to share in the bounty of this earth, to celebrate the fellowship of this community, and to re-orient our lives to align again with your ideals.

We’ve recently ended a contentious election season.
Many of us worked hard and passionately in support of our candidates and causes.
Many of us felt that important aspects of our faith were bound up in the issues and people coming before our vote.
We invested ourselves fully, and exhausted ourselves with work and worry because we felt that your divine ideals were at stake in the outcome of our choices.

And although we celebrate the democratic process, and cherish our right to decide important issues through debate and vote, we also note with regret that every election pits party against party, and neighbor against neighbor, and some people of one faith against other people of other faiths, and every election ends with winners and losers: the exhilarated and the sorrowful, the ones who are sure we’ve done the right thing, and those who feel we may have made a grave error.

We come together then, this evening, facing the great task of reuniting our community, as you would have us united.
We seek to feel again that we are one, and that we walk together toward your ideals, as we must.
We ask your help in pouring out your love on every one of us, and encouraging us to love all our neighbors as you love all your children.

Forgive us where we have boastfully claimed to know your will more truly than we actually can know.
Forgive us for insulting the values and motivations of others, instead of recognizing the great longing toward you that speaks to all of us but is heard in different ways.
Forgive us for arrogantly feeling that we alone were the wise and the just and the good and that we knew better and knew more than our fellow citizens.

Help us now with equal parts humility and compassion to reach across the divide we’ve created and to bring back into community those we’ve excluded. Let us gently seek out the people who have turned away from us. And let us not refuse the invitations of those reaching out to us.

We go forward from today into the same task that is always our task, to move our world from the place it is into that place it will be when your ideals are manifest “on earth as it is in heaven.”

May that day come soon. And may all of us soon dwell there in joy and peace and love, together.

We pray in all your holy names, Amen

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you Ricky. In my UU Congregation, may we always welcome Republicans, active-duty military persons, and any number of others who are underrepresented.

As we work on human rights in the world, may we reach out to LDS members, Roman Catholics, and evangelical Protestants. We may keep agreeing to disagree about some issues; we may change some minds. But we are all human, together.

Within my own 57 years, and with regard to being a straight ally, I have gone from being intolerant, to tolerant, to accepting, to being in celebration of the sexual orientation and gender expression of all. Many others are walking that path with me, or at a faster pace.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of us!