From the Associate Rector - January 14
I’ve been attending a preaching conference this week – by Zoom, of course. I’ve had the great opportunity to see old colleagues and to meet new ones, while commiserating about the challenges and joys of preaching and leading our parishes in these times.
In my small group, we discussed the aftermath of the Riot at the Capitol last week, and how our parishes have prayed for our elected leaders. Two of the priests in the group, both from different parts of the same state, but with very different political leanings at their parishes, have had their churches pray for President Trump by name, and starting recently, President-Elect Biden by name. At the more conservative parish, a mistake was made the Sunday after the riot: the parish admin removed President Trump’s name by accident, leaving only Biden’s name. Many in the parish angrily contacted the rector believing that he was making a statement by this action, when truly, it was just a clerical error. At the other parish, the exact opposite happened that Sunday: the parish admin forgot to include President-Elect Biden’s name in the prayers. After the service, a parishioner opined to the rector that “…it was just fine that way. Biden doesn’t need nearly as many prayers as Trump does right now!”
Truthfully, our President-Elect also needs our prayers. As the breaking news headlines continue to pop up on my phone even as I write this, I invite you to continue to be in prayer with me for our nation, our world, and all our leaders as we approach the 20th of January, Inauguration Day. The Book of Common Prayer provides many such good prayers, and I include some of them below. Together in prayer we join our hearts and minds together as we ever seek to shine the beacon of Christ’s love in this broken world.
For the President of the United States and all in Civil Authority
O Lord our Governor, whose glory is in all the world: We commend this nation to thy merciful care, that, being guided by thy Providence, we may dwell secure in thy peace. Grant to the President of the United States, the Governor of this State and to all in authority, wisdom and strength to know and to do thy will. Fill them with the love of truth and righteousness, and make them ever mindful of their calling to serve this people in thy fear; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.
-BCP, page 820
For our Country
Almighty God, who hast given us this good land for our heritage: We humbly beseech thee that we may always prove ourselves a people mindful of thy favor and glad to do thy will. Bless our land with honorable industry, sound learning, and pure manners. Save us from violence, discord, and confusion; from pride and arrogance, and from every evil way. Defend our liberties, and fashion into one united people the multitudes brought hither out of many kindreds and tongues. Endue with the spirit of wisdom those to whom in thy Name we entrust the authority of government, that there may be justice and peace at home, and that, through obedience to thy law, we may show forth thy praise among the nations of the earth. In the time of prosperity, fill our hearts with thankfulness, and in the day of trouble, suffer not our trust in thee to fail; all which we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
-BCP, page 820
Eternal God, in whose perfect kingdom no sword is drawn but the sword of righteousness, no strength known but the strength of love: So mightily spread abroad your Spirit, that all peoples may be gathered together under the banner of the Prince of Peace, as children of one God and Creator of us all; to whom be dominion and glory, now and forever. Amen.
-BCP, page 815