Monday, November 24, 2014

Let us pray: A prayer for the members of the grand jury.

This morning, let us pray for the members of the grand jury that reconvenes today.

Let us not pray for any specific outcome. Let us not pray for any specific timetable. Let us pray for the men and women who make up that body.
Holy and loving God, giver of all good gifts, we lift before you this day the members of the grand jury deliberating in the case of Darren Wilson.

They are wives and husbands, fathers and mothers, sisters and brothers, lovers and friends.

Like so many, they did not choose their role in this struggle, it chose them.

Like so many, they did not leave behind the other challenges of their lives when this work was thrust upon them, and in fact this work has probably made those challenges even more acute.

Like so many, in the midst of all this, they still have to raise their children, make their marriages and other relationships work, do their jobs and live their lives.

Like so many, they find themselves suddenly at the center of a global seismic event and are having to wrestle with not just their place in one decision but their place in history.

Like so many, they are probably wrestling with fear and anxiety, afraid not only for themselves and their future but for their families.

Like so many, they see themselves being dehumanized in the media and online and in conversation, treated as an entity or a class rather than as individual human beings, precious in your sight.

And yet unlike anyone else, they have a specific burden of being asked to render a decision based on our current system of standards and laws, whether they believe those standards and laws to be just or not.

Unlike anyone else, they have to wrestle with the fact that they will be part of a decision that will not only have deep consequences locally but nationally and historically.

Unlike anyone else, they sleep and rise knowing that our city and the world is waiting for them to render their opinion.

We pray for each and all of them today.

We pray that you will surround them with light and hope that will keep them from despair.

We pray that you will give each of them that peace that passes understanding that will let them see clearly and judge rightly -- not assuming that our judgment should be theirs.

We pray for their spouses and children, for comfort for them. We pray that their partnerships and marriages might be strengthened in this crucible.

We pray that each of them lean more on you and find in this time an opportunity to depend on you more and more for wisdom and even for their very survival.

We pray that you give each of them the courage to trust that they have been called to this purpose for a reason and to reach for their best selves and continually have the strength to approach this incredible task with the utmost integrity.

We pray that each of them will feel the prayers and support of this community, and that no matter what decision they render that they will know the love you showed when you became flesh in Jesus Christ, the love you showed when you promised "I will be with you, even to the end of the age," will never leave them.

In the name of Jesus, the Word made flesh, who gave himself out of love for the life of the world, we pray.  Amen.

1 comment:

Don Young said...

AMEN. The only thing I'd add is that I don't think that God needs me to remind Him (Her, It) what God's role is or should be in all this. God does not need me to preach a sermon.

I would substitute "I AFFIRM" for each of the petitions.