A Prayer for Hope Born Out of Sadness
(Wednesday, June 24, 2020)
O Lord, where, where is the vision,
we so desperately
as a nation, as people,
of all that we should be,
and can be,
and must be,
if ever there is to be hope,
that has the power to
lift us up
and fill us with hope?
And where, where are
who have such a vision,
can give us such a vision,
have any vision at all?
And where, where
are the believers,
the believers who still dream the dream,
you have dreamed for all creation
from the beginning of time?
O Lord, what, what has happened,
has happened to our land,
what has turned this land
into a land in which
has become the new entertainment,
has become the big thrill,
just plain fun
(Are people really that bored with their lives?),
a land of sadness,
not one nation,
not under God,
not liberty and justice for all?
what has happened to communities,
(unless a tornado hits),
just lots of
who long for community
with someone, anyone?
has happened to Christianity,
what has happened to make Christianity
hardly Christian at all,
watering it down
to little more than
about feeling real good about yourself,
having it all,
prospering big time,
making being Christian
a perfect fit
with our politics,
O Lord, when, when was the vision lost,
of this land
as a land
of freedom, opportunity, equality, justice, promise,
in which truth and character and honor
were held high,
a land that
had compassion for the least and the lost and the losers of this world,
welcomed those seeking a better life,
never forgot what it was like to be a refugee fleeing in fear,
when did leaders at all levels
stop calling us to be the land we claim to be,
to be the people we should be,
to purposes higher than our own,
to serve not simply ourselves,
to create communities that are communities?
when did believers
of your kingdom coming near,
kindness and mercy and grace
goodness and holiness and beauty
of all people, all creation,
and to one another,
the dream of peace;
when did we start tolerating hate,
enjoying the worst in people being brought out,
when did we start
settling for less,
settling for a Christianity
that offers everything,
and hopes for little more than having a nice day
now and then?
Is the only
of what is seen in the mirror every morning –
me, me, me?
O Lord, give us a vision!
And give us
faith enough to follow the vision,
courage enough to join ourselves to you,
to help you usher in your kingdom
so that the future that comes,
is not the future that always seems to come
that is simply the past by another name.
And raise up
out of all races and all generations
leaders who lead, who
inspire not incite,
unify not divide,
take responsibility not look for someone to blame,
leaders with the vision to see
that will truly be a new kind of future.
And we continue, O Lord, to remember and pray for
all those stricken with the coronavirus,
those who care for them,
those who mourn the loss of someone to the virus.
And be with those struggling financially and those who despair,
and move us
to do what we can to help.
And keep gracing us
with sense enough
to keep paying attention and doing the right thing,
as the virus keeps spreading.
O Lord, be thou our vision!
Be thou our hope, O Lord of our hearts!