[A portion of the Pastoral Prayer from November 14, 2016 at First United Methodist Church of Toms River]
This has been a long season.
We just went through a presidential election that has left us exhausted. We were worn down by negativity, fear mongering, specters of corruption, and dismissive condescension. And on the morning of November 9th, when we ALL wanted for it to just be over, we woke up in a country even more divided and reeling than it already was.
Some are grieving and some are celebrating, and in the midst of our plurality of reactions, God, our trust in and toward one another--in the church and perhaps even in this congregation--is compromised.
But God, you have called us together. It was you who prayed that we would all be "one." So bring us together. Bring us together as salt and light in this world. Breathe into us the life we need so that we might be patient with one another, that we will learn to validate one another and not mock… do what must be done so that we will be united… and so that our unity will be honest and genuine. Let our unity include the marginalized and not only our "tribe."
Convict us, comfort us, but do not let us lose sight of the fact that you have called us to follow YOU… and no one else. You have called us to serve YOU and no one else, for we cannot serve two masters. You have called us worship YOU, in joy and in sorrow, trusting in faith that yours
, and no one else’s, is the power and the glory FOREVER.
Help us to get that right, this morning. Help us to worship you together.