Sunday, January 18, 2009

A prayer for today ...


From Episcopal Cafe.

A Prayer for the Nation and Our Next President, Barack Obama

By The Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson, Episcopal Bishop of New Hampshire

Opening Inaugural Event
Lincoln Memorial, Washington, DC
January 18, 2009

Welcome to Washington! The fun is about to begin, but first, please join me in pausing for a moment, to ask God’s blessing upon our nation and our next president.

O God of our many understandings, we pray that you will…

Bless us with tears – for a world in which over a billion people exist on less than a dollar a day, where young women from many lands are beaten and raped for wanting an education, and thousands die daily from malnutrition, malaria, and AIDS.

Bless us with anger – at discrimination, at home and abroad, against refugees and immigrants, women, people of color, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.

Bless us with discomfort – at the easy, simplistic “answers” we’ve preferred to hear from our politicians, instead of the truth, about ourselves and the world, which we need to face if we are going to rise to the challenges of the future.

Bless us with patience – and the knowledge that none of what ails us will be “fixed” anytime soon, and the understanding that our new president is a human being, not a messiah.

Bless us with humility – open to understanding that our own needs must always be balanced with those of the world.

Bless us with freedom from mere tolerance – replacing it with a genuine respect and warm embrace of our differences, and an understanding that in our diversity, we are stronger.

Bless us with compassion and generosity – remembering that every religion’s God judges us by the way we care for the most vulnerable in the human community, whether across town or across the world.

And God, we give you thanks for your child Barack, as he assumes the office of President of the United States.

Give him wisdom beyond his years, and inspire him with Lincoln’s reconciling leadership style, President Kennedy’s ability to enlist our best efforts, and Dr. King’s dream of a nation for ALL the people.

Give him a quiet heart, for our Ship of State needs a steady, calm captain in these times.

Give him stirring words, for we will need to be inspired and motivated to make the personal and common sacrifices necessary to facing the challenges ahead.

Make him color-blind, reminding him of his own words that under his leadership, there will be neither red nor blue states, but the United States.

Help him remember his own oppression as a minority, drawing on that experience of discrimination, that he might seek to change the lives of those who are still its victims.

Give him the strength to find family time and privacy, and help him remember that even though he is president, a father only gets one shot at his daughters’ childhoods.

And please, God, keep him safe. We know we ask too much of our presidents, and we’re asking FAR too much of this one. We know the risk he and his wife are taking for all of us, and we implore you, O good and great God, to keep him safe. Hold him in the palm of your hand – that he might do the work we have called him to do, that he might find joy in this impossible calling, and that in the end, he might lead us as a nation to a place of integrity, prosperity and peace.

AMEN.

12 comments:

Jase said...

How could anyone hear/read that and say +Robinson is not a man of God - and anointed person? I didn't hear it but just reading it sends chills up my spine -- and give me "holy ghost bumps" and a friend used to call them.

James said...

Did you notice that Mr. Obama's speech included a phrase about equal rights for GLBT?

PseudoPiskie said...

I heard Obama's message. Good on him. But did the recording start long after +Gene's invocation? I didn't see it. I was watching on the web.

Ann said...

You could see him speaking at the podium on MSNBC but the HBO feed did not pick up sound until later. Complain to HBO here.

JCF said...

Has anyone found a video of the invocation on the web? (I'm no joy w/ Google thus far >:-/)

Mike in Texas said...

I am not impressed by Obama's words about GLBT people. I'm saving that for the day he actually does something.

As you probably all know by now, HBO did not broadcast Bishop Robinson's invocation.

IT said...

I'm with Mike.

IT

James said...

But Mike and IT -- he said the words at a national event. Do you realize how huge that is? I'm holding judgment about his actions, but he actually said the "GLBT" word and "equal rights" in the same sentence.

JCF said...

As far as actions go, we've been promised (recently, during the transition) that DADT will be lifted, SOON.

Yeah, not personally important to me: but a vital SYMBOL of our being equal citizens (equally risking our lives for our country).

Next step IS important to me: pressure to pass/sign (Trans-inclusive) ENDA this year! [Or what good is Obama's heavily-emphasized "Jobs, Jobs, Jobs", if we are excluded/fired from them?]

For 2010, I recommend a two-pronged strategy, towards marriage equality: 1) Federal-level Civil Unions (which Obama has SAID he favors!), and 2) Getting rid of DOMA, so we can (state-by-state) get the Civil Marriages that WE want!

IMO, the sooner we test our so-called friends in Washington, with Civil Unions, the sooner we can find out they DON'T work, and come back w/ marriage! It's all about being flexible, and not putting our eggs all into one basket (recalling that Federal Civil Unions won't do anything to prevent marriage at the State level).

Well, that's just my 2c. All this presumes, personally, that I don't starve during the Second Great Depression...

[Inquiring again: anybody know where to find +Gene's invocation on the web? I hope the subject of the non-coverage comes up, in +Gene's appearance on The Daily Show.]

Mike in Texas said...

James he has said those words a number of times this year. They remain words, nothing else. They mean nothing more to me than the PBs words without actions regarding GLBT people.

I'm waiting for them to do something. Then I'll be impressed.

Regarding Bishop Robinson's prayer. I have posted video of it on my blog along with a developing story about the reason he was cut out of the broadcast. The decision to eliminate him apparently came from the Obama people, not from HBO.

And now I'm even less impressed by Obama's words.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't that a Gay Men's Chorus that sang "My Country 'tis of Thee" with Josh Groban at the concert? I found that almost more inspiring that Bishop Robinson's invocation, especially since it was performed in tribute to Marian Anderson, who sang the same hymn at the Lincoln Memorial 60 years before.

Ann said...

Yes- the Gay Men's Chorus