My dear friend and colleague, the Rev. Dr. Sandy Johnson (retired), and I have shared thoughts over many elections since we were in seminary together all those decades ago. This year, as in every election year, we are reminded that as the 2012 events conclude, the work of campaigning may be over, but the work (given to each of us!) to make a better society and create healthy relationships even among those with differing opinions, has just begun. Again. Here is a reflection taken from Sandy’s website (www.womanofthecloth.org) with a prayer for all who serve in public office:
As I have watched the political campaigns this year I am amazed and grateful for the women and men who are willing to submit themselves to scrutiny, criticism, invasion of privacy, misinterpretation, and various forms of “spin” in order to become public servants. I want to offer a prayer of thanksgiving and hope for these fellow citizens. (Parts of this prayer were offered in the Minnesota House of Representatives in January, 2009).
Gracious God, we ask your blessing for the women and men who serve in elective office. We thank you for the skills and energies they bring to their duties, and for their willingness to set aside other obligations and pleasures in order to serve. We thank you, too, for the families, colleagues, and staff who support them in their work. In this complicated and uneasy time of our history, we pray for:
- the blessing of outrage that many of our neighbors receive inadequate health care along with the blessing of civility in working together to find solutions;
- the blessing of impatience that many families still have unsafe and inadequate housing, along with the blessing of encouragement for new ideas to provide it;
- the blessing of shame for mediocre schools, outdated highways, and shabby facilities, along with the blessing of resolve to address those needs;
- the blessing of hope in imagining the future of our communities, along with the blessing of prudence in building and financing that future; and
- the blessing of loyalty in representing their constituencies, along with the blessing of courage in sometimes challenging their views.