One of the strong impressions this year has made on me is the growing distrust – or disdain – of words. There are active attempts to undermine the words of those in positions of responsibility. But there is something more personal involving so much hard work going on to explain our predicaments or to justify the adjustments to work, home, school, life, we are all having to experience.
So on this Election Day, fewer words.
First, a prayer from an old prayer book I have had on my shelf for years, and just two verses from Galatians. My sense is that praying some prayer like this one and speaking aloud (and acting out) the fruits of the spirit this week, we will be closer to God’s Spirit. I love that the fruits of the spirit passage begins “by contrast.” We need a contrast – a holy contrast – to all the other words that are going to flood into our life this week.
Almighty God, you have promised to hear what we ask in the name of your Spirit.
Watch over our country now and in the days ahead, guide our leaders and all who will vote, guide them in all knowledge and truth and make your ways known among all people.
In the passion of debate give us a quiet spirit;
in the complexities of the issues give us courageous hearts;
in the need and quest for justice, give us courage and vision;
in the hope for a future imagined by your presence, renew us as your faithful followers.
Accept and fulfill our petitions, we pray,
not as we ask in our ignorance,
nor as we deserve in our brokenness,
but as you know and call and love us in Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.
By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is
There is no law against such things.