January 6, 2021

Dear Friends,

I, like you, have a very heavy heart on this day. I have watched in horror everything that has unfolded this afternoon at the Capitol building. As the pastoral leaders at the Washington National Cathedral have claimed, “There is nothing patriotic about this, and there is nothing Christian about this.” Indeed. Today’s violent chaos at the Capitol displays our nation’s brokenness as clearly as I ever could have imagined. We must be better. We must do better.

Yet in order to dream of a different future so that we might live into a different future, we need to draw near to our God in prayer, for God is our refuge and our strength, a very present help in trouble.

Therefore I invite you to pray a prayer that my friend the Reverend Dr. Glen Bell wrote today. Let us pray:

Gracious and eternal God, in these moments of strife and discord, we pray for our country.

Call us to our better selves, that we may release all anger rooted in self-centeredness.

Remind us of our mutual responsibilities to live as a republic, as one people together, grounded on the freedoms and traditions of our constitution.

Free us from any desire to be first or foremost—or to get our own way, no matter the cost. Instead, grant us strength and courage to listen wholeheartedly to voices long silenced, to work together for justice and peace, and to govern collaboratively as one nation with others far different from ourselves, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

“A Prayer for the Country” by Glen Bell | The Presbyterian Outlook

“See” you in worship,

Shannon J. Kershner