Sunday, November 20, 2011

Interfaith Prayer for a Compassionate Budget, Sunday, November 20, 2011 (Bataan Park, Albuquerque)

Click here for Channel 4 Coverage (including video report)

As we gather today our hearts ache with the suffering of brothers and sisters who are hungry, and suffering from unemployment, or lack of health care.  Many of us carry concerns for the future generations, for education and a healthy environment with clean air, water and food.

As people of various beliefs, we all know our connection as brothers and sisters to everyone and that we are all one within the web of life of the Creator.  Out of  a deep and responsible Love we gather today to pray for a just and compassionate federal budget.

We firmly believe that God, the Holy One of many names calls us to protect and promote the dignity of all people and the earth.  We also believe that the basic values and principles of our country acknowledge our responsibility to provide for the neediest among us and to make structural connections of why people are poor and why the earth is being devastated.

Religious leaders have called on the Deficit Super Committee members and Congress, as they consider our nation's fiscal health, to focus on job creation, revenue increases, and reduction of military spending that is unnecessary and/or duplicative.

As we gather here, we are joined by thousands of women and men of faith across the United States who are praying to support a federal budget that lifts burdens of poverty, homelessness, hunger and unemployment and raises the moral concerns of justice, equitable economy and care for creation throughout the world.

Pray together
May God, the Holy One and Creator bless us with discomfort
At easy answers, half truths, and superficial relationships 
So that we may live deep within our hearts.

May God bless us with anger
At Injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people and the earth
So that we may work for justice, freedom, peace and integrity of creation.

May God bless us with tears
To shed for those who suffer pain, rejection, freedom, peace and integrity of creation.

And may God bless us with enough foolishness
To believe that we can make a difference in the world,
So that we can do what others claim cannot be done
To bring justice and kindness to all children and people 
Who are poor and oppressed
And bring healing to the Earth.

We are called to play the Good Samaritan on life's roadside, but that will be only an initial act.  One day we must come to see that the whole Jericho road must be transformed so that men and women will not be constantly be beaten and robbed as they make their journey on life's highway.  True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it is not haphazard and superficial.  Compassion sees that an edifice that produces beggars needs restructuring.  A true revolution of values will look uneasily on the glaring contrast of poverty and wealth.   From Jericho Road  -Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Spirit of God, renew the hearts of all of us who are gathered here.  Inspire Congress and the administration to act justly and to protect our most vulnerable brothers and sisters, here and around the world. Reinvigorate our nations' vision of the common good.

 May God, our Creator and parent, breathe into us new life and new meaning.  May the Wisdom of God
breathe into us new hope and new awareness. May the Spirit of God breathe into a new spirit and new understanding of the world in which we live.  AMEN.

(Vigil script put together by Joan Brown, OSF, Executive Director of New Mexico Interfaith Power and Light.  Bread New Mexico and New Mexico Conference of Churches cosponsored the vigil).

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