Bill offers a prayer for peace and a message of hope in response to news from the Capitol.

We Pray for Peace

Hi friends. I know I communicated with you not so very long ago. I posted a Fireside Chat today—I think it went up on the website today, I recorded it on Monday. I had a blast doing it, I hope you had a little fun looking at it, and it was kind of fun and light.

But now, I find I need to communicate with you again. I’m speaking to you on the eve of the feast of the Epiphany which is the celebration of God’s earthly incarnation to all of the nations of the world, especially personified in those Magi who came from Babylon to Bethlehem to worship the Christ child. It’s a festival of light, we celebrate God’s shining light in the world of darkness, but we’re not feeling much light in the United States today.

When I saw those images coming to us from the Capitol this afternoon, my heart broke and my soul just went sick. I never thought I would see such scenes in the United States of America, the largest and oldest democracy in the world, and so I thought I’d just say hello to you tonight. I’m guessing maybe that some of you may be feeling some darkness and anxiety, so I’m going to say a prayer and I’m going to light this candle, hoping that God will bring God’s peace to a very troubled land, a very divided people.

A couple weeks ago I promised you that decency and courtesy and civility were going to return to our land very soon, and it’s taking a little longer than I thought, but I reminded you that peaceful transitions of power are the norm in our country not so very far back in our own past, and they will be the norm once again. I promise you. Democracy looks very vulnerable today, but it’s not as vulnerable as it looks. It will hold, and it will stay strong.

This prayer was written by a young man who is from the Lakeview Presbyterian Church is the Presbytery of Chicago. He wrote this in October of 2017, not long after the mass shooting in Las Vegas. You’ll remember that event.

This is one of my favorite prayers of all time. Pray with me:

Almighty God,
You are the restful night,
You are the count to ten,
You are the angry email we draft and do not send,
You are the nameless, tireless diplomat,
You are the safety on.

We pray for peace—
For our city, our country, and our world,
Within our families, within our bodies,
And within our hearts.

We pray for peace
Until only jokes bomb,
And only batters strike,
And only cameras shoot,
Until the only child we bury is the setting sun.
We pray to you for peace. Amen.

God bless you all.