THE TRUTH SHALL SET YOU FREE

He pretty much defamed everything I love about my country: The affirmation of the dignity and value of every human being, created with unalienable rights; the open-armed compassion of “Give me your tired, your poor” emblazoned on the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor; the aspiration and slow but steady drive to assure equality for all; the equally slow but steady effort to deal with an environmental crisis and assure that our children and grandchildren will have clean air to breathe and water to drink and birds and fish and magnificent animals to admire and take their breath away; the affirmation of the oneness of humankind expressed in international friendships and agreements and treaties to assure the peace of the world. There is so much more, and he and his followers have pretty much trampled on all of it.

Not alone, I am sure, he drove me regularly to pray for my nation, not simply its prosperity but for its survival as a beacon of hope, its fulfillment of Abraham Lincoln’s words: “We shall nobly save, or meanly lose, the last, best hope of earth.”

So now it is time for all of us to set aside our anger, our grievances, our offendedness, and begin again the process of healing and looking to our children’s and grandchildren’s and great-grandchildren’s futures with hope.


Dear God, we know you to be a God of infinite and inclusive love for your creation and for all your creatures. We know you to be a God of justice who grieves whenever any of your creatures is oppressed, demeaned, put down and held down, and whenever your exquisite and beautiful creation is despoiled. We know you to be a God of peace who longs for us, all your children, to learn to live together in harmony and respect, even to love one another.

And so we urgently lift to you our prayer for our nation. Bring healing, O God.  Help us all, Lord, to listen to one another, to lay aside our prejudices, our pre-conceived notions, even our deepest convictions long enough to listen and to hear one another.

Dear God, we believe your servant John said something profoundly important years ago when he wrote, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.” Gracious Lord, truth, too, has been defiled and distorted and denied. And so we pray for a way to restore a common trust in reality which is what Truth is – Truth with a capital T, the Truth you are, the Truth that is also the life and the light of the world.

And we pray for those who must lead us in the days ahead: for our President-elect, Joe Biden, and our Vice President-elect, Kamala Harris, for the women and men they have chosen to guide our nation, for members of Congress, justices and judges and all those in authority. May they govern with humility and faithfulness and integrity and concern for all your people and your creation.

Forgive us, merciful God, for this distraction from the tragedy of the pandemic and the unprecedented suffering of our fellow citizens and neighbors. Be with those who are isolated and alone, separated from their families. Bless first responders, doctors, nurses, and all those who care for the sick and dying. Bless the scientists who are helping us out of this morass.

And, dear God we pray for our dear ones, our families, and for ourselves. Give us all your gifts of patience, faith, renewed hope, renewed determination to do justice and kindness and to walk humbly with one another and with you, our final hope and savior.

All this we pray in the name of all the names your people call you, all that is holy and good and just, and in the name of the one we know as Emanuel, God with us, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Comments

  1. Why does “the truth shall set you free” most often appears without its introduction, “If you abide in my word….”

  2. Barbara Fountain says:

    I am praying your prayers. Thank you.

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