A United Methodist Pastor's Theological Reflections

"But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory (nikos) through our Lord Jesus Christ." - I Corinthians 15:57

Monday, November 14, 2016

Pastoral Prayer (November 13/Post-Election) - Athens First UMC

[Our church celebrated Country Music Sunday as part of our current "Music & Faith" series. It was a fun Sunday with bales of hay, lots of cowboy boots and flannel shirts, and the singing of old country/gospel hymns. It was also a Sunday where the pastoral prayer focused on our nation during this time of presidential transition. Playing off the words of one of Alan Jackson's country song, the world is still turning. Click here for the sermon.]

On this Sunday following our nation’s election, we also pray for our country during this time of political transition. We pray for President-Elect Donald Trump, President Barak Obama, and for all those who serve in public office, that together we would be a nation of liberty and justice for all.

We pray for those who are excited and hopeful for our country, as well as those who may be feeling fearful, anxious, and uncertain during this time. Help us to be a nation that respects differing political opinions and the diversity that is represented in our country, in our community, and especially within our own congregation. Thank you for loving us not because we are Republicans or Democrats, but because we belong to you, and we are all your children.

We confess that we are tired of talking politics. Forgive us for our feeble attempts to try to convince people of the error of their ways, without first focusing on our own shortcomings, limited perspectives, and shortsightedness. Just as you have in the past, take the wobbly and unbalanced clay of who we are, and reshape us into brand new vessels that are filled to the top with your overflowing love for you and our neighbors.

O God, in place of political conversations, as important as they are, maybe you are calling us now to focus more on sharing with each other about the breath-taking sunrise we saw early Thursday morning, and later that evening, a Missions Team meeting where we brainstormed new and creative ways to reach out to our community with your love. Thank you for these inspiring moments that we share together.

O God, maybe instead of political conversations, you are calling us to focus more on sharing with each other just how much we truly, truly appreciate our Veterans and their service to our country, or a favorite country music song we heard during the week and why we like it so much, or the inspiring choir anthem this morning that lifted our spirits, or the really awesome sermon by our preacher this morning.

O God, help us to think on these things that unite us and make us smile. Help us to see your beauty that is all around us.

In the words of country music singer, Alan Jackson, thank you for reminding us today “that your world is still turning,” you still are God, we are still your people, and you still continue to invite us to pray together as one united people,

“Our Father, who art in heaven…”

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