Sunday, May 28, 2017

Pastoral Prayer for Living Between Two Kingdoms

based on Acts 1:6-14 and Ignatius of Loyola's "Two Standards" meditation

Faithful God, we straddle a world between the banners of two different and distinct kingdoms. One encompasses all that determines our tangible success or failure. It is a kingdom of complex and interlocking systems of taxation, defense, entertainment, family systems, neighborhoods, elected officials, and laws. Many take great pride in this kingdom and wish it well because its prosperity means our prosperity; its health means our health. Others have borne the brunt of unfair policies and imperfect enactors, and those who see this are ever working toward a more just way to be in community together.

Under the other banner is a kingdom of great divine promise revealed through Christ, one that claims and exudes heavenly values and eternal truths. It is a kingdom where all are invited to banquets and all find healing and hope. It is a kingdom ever breaking into view and of which we may catch glimpses whenever one shows compassion, makes for peace, works for justice.

We are torn between these kingdoms, between the already and the not yet, between what we believe is proven and what is yet to be realized. We live in the kingdoms of this world while striving to live out of what yours calls us to be. And in our efforts, we stop to pray and seek replenishment to be a part of your mission for earth to reflect heaven.

O God, between these banners, we seek your Spirit. As we continue living in and loving those in this kingdom, may it be in a way that gives glory to yours. Amen.