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I’m more hopeful about politics than I’ve been in a long time.  I pray that hope grow into fruitful dialogue.

My prayer is that this hope can be rewarded with a substantive discourse on ideas and not devolve into the politics of name-calling and fear.  I want to say up front that I mean that in both directions, both the left and the right.

Two snippets give me hope (maybe I’m just looking for a half-full glass).

  • Barack Obama’s description of John McCain as ‘a good man’ when talking about his impending nomination as the Republican Presidential Candidate
  • John McCain’s congratulatory message to the Illinois Senator the day following Obama’s nomination

I believe that regardless of our politics, we as people of faith should really pray for, to borrow from the Apostle Paul, “a more excellent way” to emerge as part of this important time in our country and for the life of the world as God’s creation.

To that end I am going to commit myself to praying for God to sustain all of the candidates and not just ‘my’ candidate.  Will you join me in a commitment to such a prayer discipline?

In closing I offer this from the Book of Common Prayer as template for such a discipline.

Almighty God, giver of all good things:
We thank you for the natural majesty and beauty of this land.
They restore us, though we often destroy them.
Heal us.
We thank you for the great resources of this nation. They
make us rich, though we often exploit them.
Forgive us.
We thank you for the men and women who have made this
country strong. They are models for us, though we often fall
short of them.
Inspire us.
We thank you for the torch of liberty which has been lit in
this land. It has drawn people from every nation, though we
have often hidden from its light.
Enlighten us.
We thank you for the faith we have inherited in all its rich
variety. It sustains our life, though we have been faithless
again and again.
Renew us.
Help us, O Lord, to finish the good work here begun.
Strengthen our efforts to blot out ignorance and prejudice,
and to abolish poverty and crime. And hasten the day when
all our people, with many voices in one united chorus, will
glorify your holy Name. Amen.

The all too short New England summer is fleeing quickly from experience into memory.  It simply is, it’s neither good nor bad.  It, like most everything else in life has its upside as well as its drawbacks.  The change of the seasons is as God created things.

It has been said that life is 10% what happens to you and 90% of how you deal with it.  I think there’s a great deal of wisdom in that view.

I recently read a book by a man named Alan Roxburgh called, The Sky is Falling!?! Leaders Lost in Transition. It is about, among other things, the nature of transition that the Church in the modern world finds itself in.  We can lament the passing away of a predominantly Christian culture in our world, but at the end of the day that passing away is a change.  A change that we cannot undo, but a change with which we must deal with all the imagination, prayer, obedience and creativity at our disposal if we are to continue doing the Mission of God here in Worcester.

Mr. Roxburgh says that change is inevitable and what we do with it, the 90% of faith is in how we respond.  He calls the response transition.  He says that transition is what we do in the face of change.  He says change happens to us, we can’t stop it, but what we can do is manage our response as we transition from one reality to another.

It’s in what we do that we begin to walk upon the kind of Holy Ground that Moses experienced when he heard God in a burning bush.  Change for the people of Israel was on the horizon.  They were a threat to the Egyptians and the Egyptians were acting out of fear to oppress God’s people.  God took this change and called a people into one of the great transitions in all of human history, the Exodus.

That 40 year pilgrimage continues to serve as an example to God’s people about how we can depend upon God to move us from one circumstance should we have the courage, wisdom and faith to depend on Him regardless of what change comes our way.

One of the common phrases in the our current culture is, “it’s all good!”  Well we know that it’s not all good.  That being said the Apostle Paul in the Romans says, “we know that all things work together for those who love God.” (Romans 8:28).  What Paul is reminding the Romans and us of is that God’s love, power, compassion and guidance can bring good from almost any change if we trust him to help us make transitions.

Whatever change befalls us, I pray that God will lead us through Holy Transition more deeply in relationship to Him and a deeper commitment to His Mission for the world.

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