I have long appreciated the poetic writing of theologian Ted Loder. He seems to be able to put words to my feelings, my hope in God, and the reality of what it means to live out our baptismal identity in ways that both comfort and inspire me in my faith. As we stand at what feels like a tenuous time in our history, in our democracy, and in this pandemic, I share this prayer by Loder as we consider what it means to roll up our sleeves together. Hold these words today and notice what stirs in you. What inspires you? What challenges you? What gives you hope? How does this speak to the field of your daily life?
Empower me to be a bold participant,
rather than a timid saint in waiting,
in the difficult ordinariness of now;
to exercise the authority of honesty,
rather than to defer to power,
or deceive to get it;
to influence someone for justice,
rather than impress anyone for gain;
and, by grace, to find treasures
of joy, or friendship, or peace
hidden in the fields of the daily
you give me to plow.
In Peace, Pastor Ruth
Let us pray (The Peace 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;
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,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.