Tuesday, November 24, 2015

A Prayer for Affirming Our Values

[Note:  I was also privileged to offer the opening prayer at yesterday's demonstration at the Annapolis State House on Syrian refugees.  This is that text…]

A Prayer for Affirming Our Values
By Rabbi Stephen J. Weisman

Heavenly Parent – we who gather here today call upon you by many  names.  But we know that, despite those different names, we are all calling upon You – the One God – Creator, Protector, and Nurturer of all humanity.

We gather here today, on the eve of our national day of Thanksgiving, because we recognize that You have graced us with many blessings, for which we owe You bountiful thanks.  But we also recognize that mere words of thanks are not enough, when there are so many in our world in need of Your Healing, Your Protection, Your Love. 

We recognize that we must also show our thanks through our deeds – defending the values which connect us to You and to each other, extending Your Healing, Your Protection, Your Love to those who are not as blessed as we are.  We acknowledge that we are a nation of immigrants, that many of our greatest blessings come from being able to enjoy the bounty and live by the values we share in freedom in this great nation, exactly because we, or our ancestors were welcomed to become part of this people.  Many of our ancestors came here with little, many fled from persecution and violence, many came in challenging moments of world unrest. 

An so we pray, for ourselves and our elected leaders – that we learn and remember the lessons of our own individual and collective histories, that challenging moments call not for retreat from our core values, but rededication to those values.  Moral leadership is judged in difficult times like these, and how we respond to real human challenges Bless us,  O God, and bless our Governor as well, with Your strength, for it is our responsibility to come together, in Your name, and speak of and protect the values that make our country great.

Bless all who recognize Your gifts and Your blessings, all those who merely seek a safe and welcoming place to re-establish their lives and create their new homes, all who use Your gifts to work to improve the lives of ALL Your Creation – today and always.  We ask this in Your name – whichever one(s) we use.  Amen.

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