Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Christians of the USA, if there is anything we ought to be able to unite about in relation to our nation, this is certainly one. Let's commit ourselves to praying for Barack Obama and his family. The Christians in early Rome prayed for the Caesars ("kings and all in authority"). How could we do less?
Monday, January 19, 2009
Opening Inaugural Activities
January 18, 2009
Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson prayed:
"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.
Actually, some of what he prays for are things with which all who are truly Christian could agree. My concern is with his addressing the prayer "O God of our many understandings." As a friend of mine said, it's a prayer "To whom it may concern." At least a Muslim would address his prayer to Allah or a Buddhist to Buddha.
I have no problem with Gene Robinson or anyone of other faiths praying to their gods. I think of Elijah on Mt. Carmel. He didn't say to prevent the prophets of Baal from praying to their god. In fact, he encouraged them to "call him louder." Elijah was concerned with neither the prayers nor the gods. We who worship the Lord Jesus Christ today know that prayers offered to God through His Mediator Jesus Christ are the prayers which God receives. We make no apology for thinking that. It is at the core of what we believe.
As I said, some of what the bishop prayed was good. Too bad he wasn't talking to the right Person.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
The Call of an Aborted Child…
by Kayla Sweeney
Can you hear my voice!?
In the wind a mere breath,
Not a name but a choice,
And I was chosen for death.
Growing and changing,
they said “its not yet alive,”
turned to night
In the womb I was inside.
No chance to see,
No chance to breathe,
No chance to take my heart and sing.
No chance to shout,
No chance to cry,
No chance to scream, to laugh, to sigh.
I merely had the chance to die,
or the life to buy.
Can you hear my voice?!
I’m Gods very own,
Before the coming of your choice,
I was still always known,
He knitted me,
and molded me,
and thought of me,
unfolded me, (Psalm 139)
knew in and out the whole of me,
Before the “accident” came to be.
Can you hear my voice?!
Who could I have been??
Without your choice,
If I had the chance to begin,
The messenger God chose to send,
More than just a breath in the wind.
A soldier for Christ,
I guess we’ll never know…
You paid the price.
Can you hear my call!?!
I was life to be lived,
Instead killed, murdered, my future hid
I am life!
Do not remain blind,
From the beginning God kept me in his mind.
DO YOU HEAR ME?
But it all fades in the distance,
In your mind you're still doubting,
my life or existence.
My scream can’t be heard,
I have no way to call,
My life has been blurred
from the start of it all…
I ask, can you hear me….
I guess you never will,
God brought life to me,
But you chose to kill.
I grieve for the 50,000,000 innocent unborn children in this country who have died since 1973. I am deeply fearful that, having elected a president who wishes to remove any and all restrictions on any kind of abortion, those numbers will grow exponentially in the future. But even if they don't grow, one is still too many.
I am grieved in my heart over the numbers of those who profess to be mature, serious Christians who say we should stop making such a big deal about abortion. When I know the Scripture teaches of God's creation of human life in the womb. When I remember that no society in history which has embraced infanticide has survived, I know that absent the miraculous grace of God in spiritual awakening this country's days are limited—a fate we will have brought on ourselves.
God forgive us. God have mercy on us.