16Jan Election Day

Election Day

Now that a tsunami of election fever is washing across this country of ours, how does Jesus the Christ, the Anointed One, figure in the lives of his disciples?

Perhaps I might suggest as a springboard a prayer from Walter Brueggemann, an Old Testament scholar and a native of Nebraska. He is author of many books. https://www.walterbrueggemann.com/

This prayer is from his book , “Prayers for a Privileged People”(Nashville: Abingdon, 2008), pp. 149. The prayer is named “Post-Election Day”, but it works just as well pre-election. The closing two lines give it pointed impact.

As with any prayer, one who draws inspiration from it is encouraged to adapt it to personal use.

Post-Election Day

You creator God
who has ordered us
in families and communities,
in clans and tribes,
in states and nations.

You creator God
who enacts your governance
in ways overt and
in ways hidden.
You exercise your will for
peace and for justice and for freedom.

We give you thanks for the peaceable order of
our nation and for the chance of choosing—
all the manipulative money notwithstanding.

We pray now for new governance
that your will and purpose may prevail,
that our leaders may have a sense
of justice and goodness,
that we as citizens may care about the
public face of your purpose.

We pray in the name of Jesus who was executed
by the authorities.

 

Richard Rohr offers an adaptation of a prayer from a community in Denver, Colorado, an adaptation of Brueggemann’s “This City … of God” from the same book. It can be adapted for any situation. Put in your own local names. See https://cac.org/action-and-contemplation-part-one-weekly-summary-2020-01-11/.

 

Loving God, you have set us in families and clans, in cities and neighbourhoods.

Our common life began in a garden, but our destiny lies in the city.

You have placed us in Denver. This is our home.

Your creativity is on display here through the work of human hearts and hands.

We pray for Denver today—for the East Side, West Side, North and South.
For Montebello, Sun Valley, Green Valley, and all two miles of Colfax.

We pray for our poorest neighbours and for powerful people in banks and offices downtown.

We pray for people from the ’hood and the barrio and for the new urbanites.

We pray for Denver’s sisters: Aurora, Arvada, Cherry Hills, Lakewood, Thornton, Highlands Ranch, and others.

And for Albuquerque and Cheyenne, Jerusalem and Nairobi, Kunming and Cuernavaca—and a thousand other cities connected to our own.

In all our neighbourhoods this day there will be crime and callous moneymaking; there will be powerful people unable or unwilling to see the vulnerable who are their neighbours.

There will also be beautiful acts of compassion and creativity in all these places—forgiveness and generosity; neighbours working together for a more just community.

Help us see this place as something other than a battleground between us and them, where our imaginations are limited by win/lose propositions and endless rivalry.

Show us a deeper reality, God: Show us your playground, and invite us to play.

Like the city of your dreams, make this a city where those who were once poor enjoy the fruits of their labour;

A place where children are no longer doomed to misfortune, but play safely in the streets under the watchful eyes of healthy old men and women;

A place where former rivals and natural enemies work and play together in peace;

And where all people enjoy communion with you.

We pray in the name of the one who wept over the city. Amen.

 

Some more samples from this book of Brueggmann can be found at https://episcopalchurch.org/files/sacred_ground_brueggemann_prayers_for_a_privileged_people_-_religious_resources_0.pdf


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