Reflecting on a change of leadership: This is not about a difference of political opinion, as that’s far too small to mourn over. It’s about a fundamental difference in how we view the worth of all people—not just those who look or talk or think or vote the way we do.
(source: John Pavlovitz)
Prayer for the Election (U.S.A.)
God of justice and compassion,
God of Republicans and Democrats and Independents,
God of the poor and the 1% and the middle class,
in the heat of this election year
we pray for our nation, our churches, and ourselves.
In the midst of meanness and deception,
may our words be kind and true.
In the midst of loud speeches and harsh accusations,
may we listen well and try to understand.
May those who follow Jesus do the work of Jesus –
breaking down the dividing walls
speaking the truth in love
meeting together in the face of disagreements.
Holy, loving God, have mercy on your children.
(Source: Joanna Harader, Spacious Faith)
Counting the cost
How do we do what’s right, Jesus,
when it costs us so much to follow you?
How do our leaders do what’s right, Jesus,
for the weak and marginalised,
for people beyond our borders,
when the cost could be to forfeit their opportunity to lead?
How do our corporations do what’s right, Jesus,
for our suffering planet,
for the rights and needs of the poor,
when the cost could be to lose investors,
and sacrifice the lives of their own workers?
How do our protectors do what’s right, Jesus,
for the broken and desperate,
for our allies and enemies,
when the cost could be to face the attacks
of those they seek to defend?
We need to learn how to do what’s right, Jesus,
our world needs us to learn it;
we need to count the cost of your call,
and measure it against the abundant life you promise.
Help us, in our own small way, to be those who do the right thing,
and in so doing, demonstrate the goodness
that following you brings to all. Amen.
(Source: John van de Laar, Sacredise)
A Blessing for the Politically Despondent.
by Joel McKerrow
There shall come a time,
When the way we hope it could be feels so very far away.
When the system shows itself for what it is.
When the politicians spend more time bitching than leading,
stabbing backs than backing those who truly need their support.
When the truth seems too hard to decipher through the lies.
When the ballot paper seems…empty of good choices.
When it doesn’t seem to even matter
which party is in power,
for they shall all wield the same.
When we are told we have the power to change our society
and yet out voting
feels like it means nothing. An appeasement of the masses
more than a piece of societal changing history.
There shall come a time,
and in that time
and in that sense of frustration
and the draw towards apathy,
may you find a higher something to hold onto.
Something above political ideals.
Something above the hollow notion of failed political promise.
Something to remind you.
Something to instil hope within you.
May you take the discouragement
and find courage somewhere within it.
The courage to believe that
regardless of politics,
regardless of our leaders pandering to powerful people,
regardless of our faltered political ideals,
that there is still a way to change the world around us.
And it begins with you. And it begins with me.
And it is more than just numbering boxes on ballot paper.
For I have met the real ones. The ones who give themselves again and again to the bettering of our world. I have seen their dirty fingernails, their tired eyes, their patient sitting beside, the way they look you in the eye, the way they listen, the way they teach our high schools, the way they fight for the homeless, the way they resist the rat-race trappings of the western dream, the way they sew seeds into the community, the way they bring people together from all sides of every spectrum, the people who deserve to be politicians. And indeed some of them are.
I have seen those who refuse to give in to the disappointment,
who choose to look around them and say,
“This is what I can do. Here. Now. This is what I can do regardless.”
So may that be you. May that be me. And maybe politics wont even matter if we all chose to live like this. So lets keep voting till we get there, regardless of how empty it can feel, lets not trick ourselves into thinking this will change things even if we do nothing else. Lets keep doing more in the everydayness of our lives. I have met the real ones and what strikes me about every one of them is this…they are just normal people who choose to do something. And isn’t it always a small group of normal people making decisions like this that bring about the change we so desire.
So when the time comes may you be one of these…a real person. Doing real things to bring about real change. Even if it is just to those around you.
Closing Prayer for Election Time
God, source of all truth and wisdom,
who knows and loves the whole creation,
watch over our nation at election time:
that truth may prevail over distortion,
wisdom triumph over recklessness
and the concerns of every person be heard.
who chose the way of the cross in the Garden of Gethsemane,
help us to turn our backs on self interest
and to support policies that sustain the poor, the vulnerable,
and the frightened people of this world.
who brought understanding among myriad peoples and languages at Pentecost,
give to all your people a passion for peace
and inspire us to work for unity and co-operation throughout the world
and in our political life together.
Lord, we give thanks for the privileges and responsibilities
of living in a democratic society.
Give us wisdom to play our part at election time
that, through the exercise of each vote,
your Kingdom may come closer.
Protect us from the sins of despair and cynicism,
guard us against the idols of false utopias
and strengthen us to make politics a noble calling
that serves the common good of all.
We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ Our Lord.
(Source: Box Hill Baptist Church, Melbourne, Unboxed Worship)
In Times of Great Decision
AURELIA 18.104.22.168 D (“The Church’s One Foundation”)
In times of great decision, be with us, God, we pray!
Give each of us a vision of Jesus’ loving way.
When louder words seem endless and other voices sure,
Remind us of your promise: your love and truth endure.
O God, whose gifts are countless, you send us bearing peace.
You fill our dreams with justice for all communities.
You give us global neighbors, that all may justly live.
May those we choose as leaders reflect the life you give.
O God, you bridged the distance; you opened wide your door.
You call us by our presence to reach to serve the poor.
You teach us: Welcome strangers! Seek justice on the earth!
May those we choose as leaders see every person’s worth.
You call on every nation to put aside all greed,
To care for your creation and for your ones in need,
To care for those in prison, for children, for the ill.
In times of great decision, may we choose leaders well.
Alternate tune: LLANGLOFFAN, Traditional Welsh melody
Text: © 2004 by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette. All rights reserved.
Songs of Grace: New Hymns for God and Neighbor by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette (Upper Room Books, 2009).
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org New Hymns: www.carolynshymns.com/
By the Streams of Babylon
DIX 22.214.171.124.7.7 (“For the Beauty of the Earth”)
By the streams of Babylon we sit weeping bitter tears.
Here so many hopes are gone; now we’re filled with countless fears.
Yet, O God, you tell us: “Rise! See the world through faith-filled eyes!”
We will rise and seek your way, knowing love will one day win.
We won’t let fear rule the day; we will welcome strangers in.
Every day, we’ll seek and find countless ways to be more kind.
By your grace, we’ll rise above even in this troubled hour.
Where there’s hate, we’ll choose to love; we will speak your truth to power.
With the poor and refugee we will build community.
We will pray for those who lead even as we take a stand.
We will rise with those in need, seeking justice in the land.
We will learn and listen well from the truth that others tell.
We will rise and work for peace; we will treasure your good earth.
We will march, that wars may cease; we’ll see every person’s worth.
God, now give us faith-filled lives as we heed your call and rise.
Biblical References: Psalm 137:1; Joshua 24:15; Ephesians 1:17-18; Deuteronomy 10:19; Hebrews 13:1; Matthew 25:31-46; 1 Timothy 2:1-2; Psalm 34:14; Micah 6:8
Tune: Conard Kocher, 1838, Abr. William Henry Monk, 1861, Harm. The English Hymnal, 1906
Text: Copyright © 2016 by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette. All rights reserved.
Email: email@example.com New Hymns: www.carolynshymns.com