An Election Day Liturgy

Oh Lord, long ago the Israelites cried “Give us a king!”
And since then, we have learned the dangers and blessings of being ruled by another.
We grieve a history that speaks to power gone awry;
we lament the history of broken lineages,
of slavery, segregation, riots, and retribution.

We weep over despots who brought the desecration of Your image as reflected in their treatment of Your people.

We recognize and repent of the ways in which we have idolized politics over You,
trusted fallible leaders more than You,
and made the temporary, ultimate.

And yet, we thank You.
For the ways in which You have been faithful despite our forgetfulness.
For your sustaining power to bring us here, to another opportunity to try again.
For the clearer image of You that we see when we come to know one another.

In this age, in this nation, O Lord,
we have been entrusted with the sacred duty
of keeping those in power responsible.
So on this morning of another election, as people prompted by your Spirit to tend to the lives of our neighbors,
socially, emotionally, spiritually, and yes, politically, we pray:

Move us, in our vote, to seek the good of the city in which we live.
Remind us, in our decisions, that You are a God who has called us toward the margins:
toward the immigrant,
those who are disabled,
the hurting,
the poor,
the widowed,
the forgotten,
the destitute,
the sick and injured,
the lonely,
and the lost.
Remind us that You are a God who has told us that that “whatever we have done for the least of these,” we have done for you.

Cleanse us, therefore, from partisan loyalty,
that we may speak prophetically to those in power as ones whose vote must be earned by word and action.

Open our eyes to see reality,
rather than being blinded by our proclivities toward one party or another.

Move us toward your Word,
that we would come to it not wishing to prove our point right,
but willing to be faithful followers.

Help us to see clearly
both our community’s need for us to be a voice for the voiceless,
and our need to put You first, as Lord, and trust Your slow work of redemption.

Make, then, even our ballot box decisions
an instrument of Your grace to Your world,
a part of Your healing of broken things,
a small piece of the legacy we leave,
and a reflection of Your Kingdom come.

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