Bishop Ron Jackson: Is It Over?

bishop-ron-is-it-overA Special Message from Bishop Ron:

“It’s Over?”

I am at Nashotah House seminary meeting with students and faculty and preparing to preach on Thursday evening. Like most of you, I was glued to my computer following the unfolding drama of the election returns. What an evening! Regardless of where you stand in the political spectrum, I think everyone was stunned. One thing is certain, the election may be over but the drama will continue. That being the case, it is good to pause for a moment and remember “Whose we are” and “Who we are” as Christ’s disciples.

Often the Church is dismissed as being powerless and not in touch with what’s happening in our culture. The Apostle Paul gives us another perspective. He reminds us in Ephesians 3:10 that “through the church the manifold of wisdom of God should be made known.” What wisdom does the church have to share in this time? How can we use the power of prayer, witness and the Holy Spirit to make a positive difference?

We are all aware of the divisions and intensity of feelings
displayed by all sides in this election and the need for healing and reconciliation. Some of these tensions may be felt in our own congregations. We need to acknowledge them and turn the tensions into prayer. During my parish visitations in Canada, i was struck by how many Canadians were sincerely praying for the United States, I believe the need for prayer continues.

Here are a few areas that might be good to pray into:

• Giving thanks for God’s goodness to the Untied States and for many blessings we have have received. May we seek to be a blessing to others.

• That as the United States seeks a way forward as a country, our leaders and people will set aside self-interest and seek the common good.

• That we, as the church, would model humility, love and service – especially to those with whom we disagree.

• That God would grant to our political leaders protection from harm and that the time of political transition would be smooth, peaceful and contribute to the national healing.

• That God would grant to our leaders wisdom and discernment in their many forthcoming decisions and that they will surround themselves with competent and godly advisers.

Here is a Prayer Litany from the Book of Common Prayer that may be useful:

For Sound Government

O Lord our Governor, bless the leaders of our land, that we may be a people at peace among ourselves and a blessing to other nations of the earth.
Lord, keep this nation under your care.

To the President and members of the Cabinet, to Governors of States, Mayors of Cities, and to all in administrative authority, grant wisdom and grace in the exercise of their duties.
Give grace to your servants, O Lord.

To Senators and Representatives, and those who make our laws in States, Cities, and Towns, give courage, wisdom, and foresight to provide for the needs of all our people, and to fulfill our obligations in the community of nations.
Give grace to your servants, O Lord.

To the Judges and officers of our Courts give understanding and integrity, that human rights may be safeguarded and justice served.
Give grace to your servants, O Lord.

And finally, teach our people to rely on your strength and to accept their responsibilities to their fellow citizens, that they may elect trustworthy leaders and make wise decisions for the well-being of our society; that we may serve you faithfully in our generation and honor your holy Name.
For yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all. Amen.

Prayerfully yours,
Bp. Ron