People have had all kinds of questions about my experience at the Virginia Senate.
Did my prayer include Marvel characters? How’d I feel about the separation of church and state? Was I going to run for office? Did I deliver my ‘message’ or speak to my ‘platform’?
My experience was amazing, and I’d encourage clergy everywhere to step up when the invitation comes.
I prayed what I thought I should given the context, and the ecumenical nature of those gathered together. There were the forty senators, forty-two pages, members of the clerk’s office, staff, several school groups, VCU basketball players, family, and friends. And God was invoked there – God’s presence was acknowledged! It was an opportunity to worship, and an opportunity to serve my community. How could those things not be edifying?
So, here’s my invocation – delivered in the mandated less-than-a-minute timeframe!
God of grace and truth,
We thank you for the way that you have been faithful to us,
And ask your blessing today on those gathered here.
We ask that you would strengthen our bodies to do good,
That you would free our minds from worries which might distract us,
And make us stand tall with the knowledge that you have called us to do this work.
Grant us courage to share our voice without fear of repercussion.
Wisdom to recognize what we do not understand,
Patience to listen and to hear from those we disagree with,
And hearts like yours for reconciliation, justice, and peace.
We hope to represent you in how we think, speak, and act,
And ask that you would show us how we might serve each other better,
That we might enable justice to roll like a mighty river
And righteousness like a never-failing stream
That our communities would be a safe haven where all will be welcome,
And our world would be a place where all have enough. Amen.