Posts Tagged ‘hate’

Freedom

July 4, 2021

On this 4th of July Lord help us pause and see how much we have to lose if we lose our democracy.

Move us away from the resentments, and divisions that enable the slow creep of autocracy.

May we recognize how much we use our shared freedoms of thought, expression, and association, and the vibrancy those lend to our communities.

Help us protect these for both ourselves and others, slowing the corrosive attacks on views that differ from our own, and challenging appeals to hate and fear.

For the growth of tyranny in its many forms will eventually threaten even those of us who enjoy quiet neighborhoods, regular schedules, good food, and adequate pay.

Without change, even we will some day awake and look at the wreckage and wonder, how did we go astray?

O Lord, do not abandon us to our sinful ways.

Awaken us, guide us, and help us to be better than we are.

Amen.

Hope

March 21, 2021

Thank you Lord for vaccines and sunny days; the sounds of children playing, a casual encounter with friends, flowers pushing up through the earth, a good meal.

For all these things that give us hope.

Don’t let the gun shots, the hurt that fills our hearts, the hate that spews through our media, or the uncertainty that surrounds us, take that hope away.

Help us to focus on the many signs of your presence in our world, and reach out to others in love and compassion.

Lead us forward O Lord.

Amen

Turning Point

January 24, 2021

Thank you Lord for our democracy holding and a peaceful transfer of power.

Help us to recommit to democratic values,* repair our foundations, and rebuild.

Turn us from the sins of anger, hate, factionalism, and resentment. (Galatians 5:20)

Lead us in your paths of justice, kindness, and mercy. (2 Chronicles 7:14; Ps. 25:4-5; Galatians 22-23)

May we, in the words of our Vice President,** emerge from our trials with new wisdom, imagining new possibilities. Help us to open our hearts to one another.

May we, with your help, be so zealous and successful at pursuing your justice and peace that we, like Hezekiah and his people, find ourselves rejoicing at the speed of our progress. (2 Chronicles 29:36).

Amen

*As identified in the National Council For The Social Studies C3 Framework: honesty, mutual respect, cooperation, attention to multiple perspectives, equality, liberty, and freedom.

**Paraphrased from Vice President Kamala Harris’ remarks at the Covid-19 Memorial Service, January 19, 2021.

A Different Harvest

January 10, 2021

You reap what you sow. (Gal. 6:7-10)

Forgive us Lord, for planting and nurturing the seeds of hate, anger and resentment.

Forgive us for our willingness to dismiss and even mock our fellow citizens.

Forgive us for pursuing the folly and comfort of easy answers.

Forgive us for following false prophets.

Help us heal the wounds and scars on our land and among our people.

Help us to plant anew, and to pull the weeds that infect our current discourse.

Guide us to a future harvest of justice and wisdom, of love and compassion.

Amen.

A Better Way

October 11, 2020

“Show us your ways O Lord . . . “ (Ps. 25 v. 4-5)

You have shown us a better way Lord. A way of

  • compassion,
  • love,
  • mercy,
  • forgiveness,
  • generosity,
  • patience,
  • kindness, and
  • self-control.

And you have shown us the way we should not go. A way of

  • factions,
  • hate,
  • oppression,
  • anger,
  • fear,
  • self-absorption,
  • death, and
  • destruction.

Forgive our missteps and misdirection, and guide us into the better way.

Amen

Politics of Faith

February 2, 2020

[On politics] “Most people just want somebody who can articulate their hatreds . . .” (David Brooks, 2011)

It is easy to fear the other –

  • the alien,
  • the stranger,
  • the one who thinks differently,
  • the poor,
  • the sick,
  • the ones in need who look for more.

And yet you call on us

  • to embrace the alien (Ex. 22:21),
  • to welcome the stranger (Mt. 25:35),
  • to reject factions (Gal. 5:20),
  • to serve the poor (Lev. 19:9-10),
  • to care for the sick (Mt. 25:36), and
  • to love our neighbors as ourselves (Mt. 22:34-40; Mk 12:28-34).

Help us O Lord, to heed your call as we live our lives together.

Amen.

Heal Our Hates O Lord

June 24, 2015

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:21

Lord, thank you for the love, forgiveness, and mercy shown by the survivors at Emanuel A.M.E. Church and for the witness they have given in the face of hate. Thank you for the politicians who departed from the usual patterns of division and denial to speak up and out in support of their brothers and sisters in faith.

As James Russell Lowell, observed in 1845*,

To us all, to every nation comes the moment to decide,
in the strife of truth with falsehood, for the good or evil side;

Let us choose good O Lord.

[N]ew occasions teach new duties, time makes ancient good uncouth;  they must upward still and onward, who would keep abreast of truth.

Let us move forward O Lord, guided by your grace.  Help us to learn new ways.

Heal our hates O Lord. Help us live in peace with one another (Romans 12:18).

Amen.

* Quotes from poem printed as the hymn, “To Us All, to Every Nation”,  v. 1 and 2, Chalice Hymnal #634.

Lead Us Forward

May 28, 2012

This Pentecost, O Lord, we celebrate that you are with us, and in us, and that you will never leave us.  Help us to hear and to heed your voice within.  Guide us and challenge us until we are, both in our public and private lives,

“Free from anger, hatred and passion; free from ill will, jealousy and envy; free from transgression, criticism and gossip; free from malice, animosity and grudges. . .”*

As we listen to the news and listen to the candidates, as we sift through what we hear, and as we  make choices, help us to value civility, community, and thoughtfulness.  Help us to test our fears against facts, and be willing to change. Guide us, O Lord, and move us forward.

Amen

*Quote from Julian Ibarra Zapata, 20th Century Disciples pastor  Juarez, Mexico.

Healing Hate

June 28, 2009

Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness. Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble. But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness; he does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded him. 1 John 2:9-11

Lord, we look to Iran and see that people who we feared and disparaged have more in common with our own hopes and dreams than we once thought possible. As we observe their struggle, help us to examine our willingness to label others, to judge without understanding, to fear those who are different, and to separate our world into “us” and “them”.

Hate isolates us from others, helping us to ignore those in need. Hate feeds our anger and fear, enabling others to manipulate our emotions and actions.  We fail to look within and hold ourselves accountable, preferring to  shift blame “to those people”– democrat or republican, young or old, rich or poor, immigrant or foreigner, white or black — who are our current target.

Help us Lord to move past hate.  Help us to see those in need and respond with compassion and empathy.  Whether talking to neighbors or listening to political leaders or media reports, help us to challenge the simple solutions, personalized attacks, accusations, and catch-phrases, that only serve to inflame and mislead rather than inform.  Help us to reach out to one another in respect and in love.  Help us each to take on the responsibility of working to build a country, and a world, that better reflects your grace.

Help us O Lord.

Amen