Archive for July, 2009

Truth Will Set You Free

July 26, 2009

“You love evil rather than good, falsehood rather than speaking the truth.” Ps. 52:3

So justice is driven back, and righteousness stands at a distance; truth has stumbled in the streets, honesty cannot enter.  Truth is nowhere to be found, and whoever shuns evil becomes a prey.” Is. 59:14-15

“Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor for we are all members of one body.” Eph. 4:25

Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32

We review the life of Walter Cronkite with words  like “honest”,”truthful”, and “integrity”,  and we mourn for the loss of voices we can trust.  As news and entertainment media have merged, we focus more on reports of the personal and petty than on understanding and working through the larger issues of our day.  The difficulty of those issues is minimized, and understanding undermined, as efforts are made to assign “winners” and “losers” within each 24 hour news cycle.  Words that serve more to inflame than to inform are repeated over and over.   Isolated “facts” and “statistics” devoid of context are cited with breathless speculation of potential adverse consequences.  The constant stream of information confuses and overwhelms.  Efforts to address inequalities and injustice are slowed or stalled.

Strengthen us O Lord to seek your truth.  Help us to speak truthfully to one another, moving beyond a war of data and slogans to an authentic sharing of experience, values, and knowledge.  Help us to listen to one another with respect and care.   And keep us focused on the great needs before us.

Redeem us O Lord, God of Truth (Ps. 31:5), and help us to find a better path.


Leading With Courage

July 19, 2009

When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity. Proverbs 11:2-3

Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. Proverbs 12:18

Pride only brings quarrels, but wisdom is found in those who take advice. Proverbs 13:10

Lord, thank you for leaders with the courage to speak honestly and with humility on hard issues.  Thank you for leaders who have the courage to listen, who understand that politics is not a game to win or lose, but a process where engagement of the governed provides the best opportunities for long term success.   Thank you for inspector generals and others who do the work of government with integrity and who dispassionately share the information we need to hold those who would ignore the law accountable.  Thank you for those leaders who use words to encourage, inform, and guide and who do not seek to simply manipulate and mislead.  Thank you for leaders who emphasize that what we have in common is greater than that which divides.  Thank you for leaders who patiently withstand personal attacks and persevere, keeping the end in mind.   Lord please uphold those of our leaders who are courageous and wise, and help them help us.


Distracted and Misled

July 12, 2009

Do men make their own gods? Yes, but they are not gods! Jer. 16:20

Lord, forgive us our appetite for distraction and diversion. Forgive our fascination with celebrities and our envy of the self-indulgent.  Help us to see that the ephemeral cannot sustain or guide us.  Do not let our love of entertainment nor our attachment to sentimentality displace the careful thought and sustained work that is needed to heal our country.  Help us to seek lives of meaning and purpose, to invest our wealth in building up our communities, and to share our gifts in ways that bring us closer to you.  Guide us toward wisdom O Lord.


A Just And Welcoming Land

July 5, 2009

“This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another.  Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor.  In your hearts do not think evil of each other.’ ” Zechariah 7:9-10

Lord, we are a land of many cultures and faiths.  We are a nation that provided hope and opportunity to many generations of immigrants. Indeed, we are a nation in which over 40% of the population can trace their ancestry through Ellis Island where the Statue of Liberty, the “mother of exiles,” still lifts her lamp and stands over the invitation: “Give me your tired, your poor,/Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. . .” As we struggle with our economy and mature as a country, let us not forget our ideals of hope and freedom and opportunity.  Help us avoid oppression of the alien and the poor and those who struggle to survive, and to encourage mercy and justice at home and abroad.  Help us to reflect your love in actions and not just in words.  In Jesus’ name we pray,