God, good beyond all that is good,
fair beyond all that is fair, in you is
calmness, peace, and concord.
Heal the dissensions that divide us from one
another, and bring us back to a unity of love,
bearing some likeness to your divine nature.
Through the embrace of love and the bonds of
Godly affection, make us one in the Spirit by
your peace which makes all things peaceful.
We ask this through the
grace, mercy, and tenderness
of the Father,
of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit.
(Written by Dionysius of Alexandria)
Our Father, Lord of Peace,
We long for your unity;
we need to see your
Our Father, God of Comfort,
With weak hands, we lift our
heavy hearts to you today.
Our sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit;
A broken and contrite heart you, God,
will not despise.
We admit to you that we have stood in judgment
of our neighbors, of each other, and of strangers,
while ignoring the condition of our own hearts.
Have mercy on us, dear God.
Draw us near, Divine Father,
Teach us your way, Blessed Son
Flood our hearts, and our minds, Holy Spirit.
We pray to you,
our God in community,
Holy in One.
Sermon and Reflection
What are you feeling today? What might those feelings be revealing to you?
What does it look like to struggle together for hope?
May we remember that all politics and all platforms and all
legalities and all borders and all leaders are temporary.
May we know that our kingdom is not of this world, but of the
world that is coming to this world and that is not yet here.
May we in the same breath, grasp that engagement with the things of this world —
not escape from its harsher, darker realities — is the sacrificial pattern of Jesus Christ.
May we discover our role in the just and merciful governance of the world
God made good, and pursue that cosmos-converting vocation with love
amid the world’s brokenness and grittiness.
May we have strength and beauty and determination and wisdom as we
love our neighbors and our enemies as Christ has loved us, seeking with
all persons to bring justice, mercy, and lasting peace.
May we have empathy for the political decisions of others that we
find troubling — particularly those of family and close friends.
May our posture toward every human leader be driven by respectful prayer,
and where protest, prophecy, and nonviolent resistance are needed.
May we have the courage to speak, oppose, and critique — in humility and charity
— their ideas and actions that oppose Christ and his kingdom.
May God grant us grace to affirm the humanity — the image of God — in every
political candidate and leader, and civility to impartially and energetically embrace
any pursuit of genuine human flourishing they propose.
May we trust that Providence is working behind the scenes of history to draw
all things to a good and fitting and proper end with justice and mercy.
May we leave here believing in the love and power
of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Go in peace and live the church.
See you throughout the week.
[Photo by Jana Martish @ Flickr]