An Election Day Musing
I will be honest I have no idea what the next 48 hours + have in store for our nation.
I do know that for a lot of people there will be great joy and for an equal number of people there will be great dismay. Far too many people will think the world has ended based on the outcome of the elections.
As God’s faithful people we know that while God certainly takes great interest in our world’s affairs, God’s greater interest is not in our policies but in our relationships with one another.
My ardent prayer is that those relationships in the coming days will be filled with kindness towards one another.
I recently read these words found in a prayer written by Rev. Krystal Leedy. “No matter what happens this week, God, teach us to be gracious. And not just like that “Oh I’m sorry,” kind of gracious, but the kind of grace that can multiply a poor boy’s lunch, the kind of grace that makes strangers into friends, the kind of grace that requires us to forgive as we have been forgiven, and teaches over and over and over for us to be able to identify our enemy in order to have an object of our love.”
One of my favorite modern hymn writers is Rev. Carolyn Winfrey Gillette. She has written two particularly poignant hymns I encourage you to read or even sing at full voice. (Many of you are quarantined alone at least some days so you will only scare your pets.)
What is important in these hymns are the words she has written. They are as much a prayer as a song.
And I pray as we each read them God will hear our prayers and help our nation seek to come together. That we might seek to truly uphold the words of our Founding Fathers that “with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.” “So that We the People of the United States, will continue to strive for a more perfect Union, continue the struggle for justice, insure domestic tranquility for all, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare for all, and work to see that the Blessings of Liberty endure to ourselves and our posterity.”
“In Times of Great Decision” Text: Carolyn Winfrey Gillette Tune: AURELIA 220.127.116.11 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.
“O God, We Thank You For This Land” Text: Carolyn Winfrey Gillette Tune: MELITA 18.104.22.168.8.8 (“Eternal Father, Strong to Save”)
O God, we thank you for this land and for the good on which we stand: for people down through history who sought to make us kind and free, for immigrants from every place who built this land with strength and grace.
We thank you, God, for people here who work to counter hate and fear; Who work for justice for the poor; who seek to bring an end to war; who love the water, land and air and work for your creation's care.
We thank you, too, for those who pause to see and challenge unjust laws; for those whose vision leads the way to bring a gentler, nobler day; for those who answer your great call to value, love and welcome all.
As we give thanks for this our land, may we, with others, take a stand: May we a justice-vigil keep, and never let our conscience sleep; For silence is complicity, and all are bound till all are free.
Check out the rest of Carolyn Winfrey Gillette’s hymns at https://www.carolynshymns.com