I am writing this article on the eve of our Election. No one needs to be reminded of the difficult time in which we find ourselves. We have been in such tension before, this is not the first time. The Depression of the early 30s, December 7, 1941, the Polio reality of the 50s, the Civil Rights struggle of the 60s, the notable assassinations--November 23, 1963 JFK, April 4, 1968 MLK, June 6, 1968 RFK—the Vietnam war, the Rural Crisis of the 80s, September 11, 2001, the housing market crash of 2008, just to name a few. Our present pandemic, disunity and racial struggles certainly put our present time on this list. More were before those mentioned, I fear more will follow in years to come.
What can we do? We can vote if we have not already done so. We can help others, who may have difficulties, vote. And, most importantly, we can do what our ancestors did when faced with significant internal and external struggles, we can pray. Among the personal prayers we have been offering, I share this prayer of our Bishop Joy Mortensen-Wiebe:
Everlasting God, source of all liberty, before whom every earthly ruler must bow and bend the knee, we lay our nation before you as we prepare for an election. Breathe upon us your Spirit of wisdom and discernment. Grant all who seek public office the mind of Christ, who came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life for the freedom of the oppressed. Hold before us those who face uncertain futures, or who have no voice in our political process. Uphold and safeguard poll workers and election officials in their work. Spare us from the crushing weight of cynicism. Give us grace to speak courageously, but with love, without which our words are noise, and we are nothing. Gather us together under the cross, where, in all our difference, we can stand as one people, redeemed in Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.
Our work toward becoming whole will never be finished until Christ comes again. Till then we work together toward creating, as our Pledge concludes, “liberty and justice for all.” May we walk and talk, worship and work, play and pray in such ways that we inch, be it ever so slightly, toward that goal.
Healer of our every ill, light of each tomorrow, give us peace beyond our fear, and hope beyond our sorrow. Give us strength to love each other, every sister, every brother; Spirit of all kindness be our guide. You who know each thought and feeling, teach us all your way of healing; Spirit of compassion fill each heart. ELW 612