Thursday, January 22, 2015

My prayer at the Virginia General Assembly

I should have posted this a few days ago. It was my honor and privilege to give the opening prayer at the Virginia General Assembly last Friday, also marking the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. As some of you know, I was the Chaplain to the California Senate for four years and did this every legislative day. I much enjoyed seeing another legislature in action (or in the opening stages of action), and I am grateful to Delegate David Toscano for inviting me. Below is my prayer, inspired by a blessing written by William Sloane Coffin many years ago.

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Gracious and loving God, as we honor in the next few days the memory of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we come before you with gratitude for his prophetic life and service, and we give thanks for the opportunity to serve in our own time.

Give us the eyes to see the possibilities others do not see, and the ears to hear the people whose voices are seldom heard.

May our lawmakers risk something big for something good; may they remember that the world is too large for anything but compassion, and too small for anything but cooperation.

May God kindle in our hearts the courage to break down the boundaries that divide us, the wisdom to lift up those who are poor, sick, oppressed and afraid, and the strength to work tirelessly to make real our nation’s promise of equal justice for all.

May our lawmakers build this great commonwealth not just for ourselves but as a beacon to the world for generations to come. In this we pray, AMEN.

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