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Archive for March, 2015

Prayer Afterwards

Yesterday morning, after learning the results of an historic vote in the PCUSA, I thought about how, as pastors, we have to interact with people who will receive this PCUSA vote with joy, and those who are saddened or even angry.  We who are ministers have to pastor them all, and in many cases, we have to keep our thoughts to ourselves or we have to keep our feelings tempered around others who don’t share those same feelings.  Knowing that we are all in need of prayer–no matter what kind of church we serve and regardless of the type of community in which it resides, I share the following prayer with you all.

Loving and merciful Lord, you can be called by many names and your name can be modified by many words such as magnificent, powerful, almighty, holy—but this morning, in the light of yesterday’s PCUSA vote to allow clergy to perform same sex marriages, I call on you as the loving and merciful Lord of the church.  Your love is needed to bind together the people who are divided over this issue.  Your love is needed to be the focal point as we seek to love each other, even in disagreement.  Your love is needed to restore hope to those who now think this denomination has lost its way; your love is needed to give humility to those who now think they have “won.”  Your mercy is needed to forgive our church, now and in the past and even moving forward, for choosing division over unity.  Your mercy is needed to forgive us for looking at rules on a page instead into each other’s eyes.  Your mercy is needed to forgive us for creating climates of fear instead of churches of welcome.

Love us and have mercy on us when we cannot see Christ in one another.  Love us and have mercy on us when we spend so much time looking for the speck in another’s eye while ignoring the log in our own.  Love us and have mercy on us when we covet our theological beliefs more than how we care for one another.

Loving and merciful Lord, you created the church, your church, through which the good news of Jesus Christ is proclaimed to every person.  On this day, and in the days ahead, enable each member of your body to reflect your love and your mercy, and to experience your peace that passes all understanding.  Be with those of us who have been called to lead your people, that the words we choose may be gracious, the comments we make would be thoughtful, the actions taken would be those of love and those of mercy, as we seek to imitate the One in whose image we were created.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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