These are anxious days as we await election results. I feel the tension in my bones. Here are some Scriptures and a few quotes that spoke to me this morning.
A prayer for our leaders rooted in Psalm 72 God, give your judgments to the king. Give your righteousness to the next in line. Let them judge your people with righteousness and your poor ones with justice. Let the mountains bring peace to the people; let the hills bring righteousness. Let the king bring justice to people who are poor; let them save the children of those who are needy, but let them crush oppression!
Let righteous rulers live as long as the sun, as long as the moon, generation to generation. Let them bless the nation like rain upon fresh-cut grass, like showers that water the earth.Let righteousness flourish and let peace prosper until the moon is no more.
Let them govern because: they deliver the needy who cry out, the poor, and those who have no helper. They have compassion on the weak and the needy; and save the lives of those who are in need. They breaks the bonds of oppression and violence; The people’s blood is precious in their eyes. We pray for such a king. Let all the nations be blessed through such leaders and call them blessed. Bless the Lord God, God of the nations- the only one who does wondrous things! Bless God’s glorious name forever; let God’s glory fill all the earth! Amen and Amen!
Isaiah 61 (adapted) The Lord God’s spirit is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me. God has sent me to bring good news to the poor, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim release for captives, and liberation for prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and a day of accountability to God, to comfort all who mourn, to provide for (the nations) mourners, to give them a crown in place of ashes, oil of joy in place of mourning, a mantle of praise in place of discouragement. They will be called Oaks of Righteousness, planted by the Lord. They will rebuild the ancient ruins; they will restore formerly deserted places; they will renew ruined cities, places deserted in generations past.
Prayer of Saint Francis Lord, make me an instrument of your peace; Where there is hatred, let me sow love. Where there is injury, pardon. Where there is doubt, faith. Where there is despair, hope. Where there is darkness, light. And where there is sadness, joy. O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console. To be understood, as to understand. To be loved, as to love. For it is in giving that we receive and it’s in pardoning that we are pardoned. And it’s in dying that we are born to Eternal Life. Amen
John 1:5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness doesn’t extinguish the light.
Matthew 5:14-16 You are the light of the world. A city on top of a hill can’t be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a basket. Instead, they put it on top of a lampstand, and it shines on all who are in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before people, so they can see the good things you do and praise your Father who is in heaven.
Rev. Martin Luther King Somehow we must be able to stand up before our most bitter opponents and say: “We shall match your capacity to inflict suffering by our capacity to endure suffering. We will meet your physical force with soul force.
We feel that we are the conscience of America – we are its’ troubled soul. We will continue to insist that right be done because both God’s Will and the heritage of our nation speak through our echoing demands. “The case against tokenism” NYT magazine 1962
UMC Baptismal vows Do you accept the freedom and power God gives you to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves?
The Beatitudes: Now when Jesus saw the crowds, Jesus went up a mountain. Christ sat down and taught, saying: “Blessed/happy are people who are hopeless, because the kingdom of heaven is theirs. Happy are people who grieve, because they will be made glad. Happy are people who are humble, because they will inherit the earth.Happy are people who are hungry and thirsty for righteousness, because they will be fed until they are full. Happy are people who show mercy, because they will receive mercy.Happy are people who have pure hearts, because they will see God. “Happy are people who make peace, because they will be called God’s children.Happy are people whose lives are harassed because they are righteous, because the kingdom of heaven is theirs.Happy are you when people insult you and harass you and speak all kinds of bad and false things about you, all because of me. 12 Be full of joy and be glad, because you have a great reward in heaven. In the same way, people harassed the prophets who came before you.” Matthew 5
Psalm 77:1-10 I cry aloud to God, aloud to God, that God may hear me. In the day of my trouble I seek the Lord; in the night my hand is stretched out without wearying; my soul refuses to be comforted. I think of God, and I moan; I meditate, and my spirit faints. You keep my eyelids from closing; I am so troubled that I cannot speak. I consider the days of old, and remember the years of long ago. I commune with my heart in the night; I meditate and search my spirit: “Will the Lord spurn forever, and never again be favorable? Has God’s steadfast love ceased forever? Are his promises at an end for all time? Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has God in anger shut up God’s compassion?” Selah And I say, “It is my grief that the right hand of the Most High has changed.
Jesus is stressed out: Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane. He said to the disciples, “Stay here while I go and pray over there.” When he took Peter and Zebedee’s two sons, he began to feel sad and anxious. Then he said to them, “I’m very sad. It’s as if I’m dying. Stay here and keep alert with me.” Then he went a short distance farther and fell on his face and prayed, “My Father, if it’s possible, take this cup of suffering away from me. However—not what I want but what you want.” Matthew 26:36-39
Paul speaks of deep hardships This is why we don’t get discouraged, given that we received this ministry in the same way that we received God’s mercy. Instead, we reject secrecy and shameful actions. We don’t use deception, and we don’t tamper with God’s word. Instead, we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God by the public announcement of the truth. We don’t preach about ourselves. Instead, we preach about Jesus Christ as Lord, and we describe ourselves as your slaves for Jesus’ sake. God said that light should shine out of the darkness. God is the same one who shone in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in clay pots so that the awesome power belongs to God and doesn’t come from us. We are experiencing all kinds of trouble, but we aren’t crushed. We are confused, but we aren’t depressed. We are harassed, but we aren’t abandoned. We are knocked down, but we aren’t knocked out. We always carry Jesus’ death around in our bodies so that Jesus’ life can also be seen in our bodies. We who are alive are always being handed over to death for Jesus’ sake so that Jesus’ life can also be seen in our bodies that are dying. So death is at work in us, but life is at work in you. So we aren’t depressed. But even if our bodies are breaking down on the outside, the person that we are on the inside is being renewed every day. Our temporary minor problems are producing an eternal stockpile of glory for us that is beyond all comparison. We don’t focus on the things that can be seen but on the things that can’t be seen. The things that can be seen don’t last, but the things that can’t be seen are eternal.2 Corinthians 4:1-2,5-12,16-18 –
Prayers during conflicts and anxious days Therefore, my brothers and sisters, siblings, whom I love and miss, who are my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord. Loved ones, I urge Euodia and I urge Syntyche to come to an agreement in the Lord. Yes, and I’m also asking you, loyal friend, to help these women who have struggled together with me in the ministry of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my coworkers whose names are in the scroll of life. Be glad in the Lord always! Again I say, be glad! Let your gentleness show in your treatment of all people. The Lord is near. Don’t be anxious about anything; rather, bring up all of your requests to God in your prayers and petitions, along with giving thanks. Then the peace of God that exceeds all understanding will keep your hearts and minds safe in Christ Jesus. From now on, brothers and sisters, siblings, if anything is excellent and if anything is admirable, focus your thoughts on these things: all that is true, all that is holy, all that is just, all that is pure, all that is lovely, and all that is worthy of praise. Practice these things: whatever you learned, received, heard, or saw in us. The God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:1-9
Resist Peter and John responded, “It’s up to you to determine whether it’s right before God to obey you rather than God. As for us, we can’t stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.” Acts 4:19-20
Peace: Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. God does not faint or grow weary; God’s understanding is unsearchable. God gives power to the faint, and strengthens the powerless. Even youths will faint and be weary, and the young will fall exhausted; but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:28-31
Rest: “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 –
Keep going: So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest time, if we do not give up. So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us work for the good of all, and especially for those of the family of faith. Galatians 6:9-10 –
Jesus knows our turmoil: Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such hostility against himself from sinners, so that you may not grow weary or lose heart. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. Endure trials for the sake of discipline. God is treating you as children; for what child is there whom a parent does not discipline? Hebrews 12:1-4,7-8 –
Brothers and sisters, siblings, do not be weary in doing what is right.
2 Thessalonians 3:13