Readings: Psalm 72:1-6, 18-19; Isaiah 4:2-6; Acts 1:12-17, 21-26
Give the king your justice, O God, and your righteousness to a king’s son. May he judge your people with righteousness, and your poor with justice. May the mountains yield prosperity for all people, and the hills, in righteousness. May he defend the cause of the poor of the people, give deliverance to the needy, and crush the oppressor. May he live while the sun endures, and as long as the moon, throughout all generations. May he be like rain that falls on the mown grass, like showers that water the earth.
Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who alone does wondrous things. Blessed be his glorious name forever; may his glory fill the whole earth. [Psalm 72:1-6, 18-19, NRSV]
Every Sunday at Christ Church Parish, prayers are said for those who govern – the current president, congressional representatives, local board members, etc. Some people do not like this part of the liturgy, especially if they don’t support the politicians currently filling those positions. They feel that praying for someone is a show of approval – a pat on the back dressed up for church.
Every Sunday, I offer those in power to God in prayer. This isn’t a sign of my approval, but a recognition of the difficulties power brings to those who wield it. Political power changes people, and rarely for the better. It takes a strong will, an open mind, and a loving spirit to use power for the benefit of the poor, especially when they are the ones least able to offer anything tangible in return.
God bless them and keep them. May wisdom guide them and compassion fill them. When they are tempted to abuse their power, may God bring them safely home. Amen.
May I remember that I might not do any better if I were in their shoes…
Guide me, Lord, walking home to Bethlehem.
[Rowhouse, 2018-2019, by Colin Fredrickson]