Tomorrow, Faith leaders from across the state will be holding a press conference in Montgomery on the steps of the State House and will be praying for the legislators as they debate HB 56, the bill passed last year that is projected to cost the state $11 Billion in economic loss, not to mention the hundreds of millions of dollars combined in litigation costs and county, city, and state taxes. Each faith leader has been asked to deliver their prayers for the legislature as part of this event.
Here is the prayer I will be delivering to my legislators:
Holy One, who incarnated the world with love, your messenger stated the greatest leader among us was the one who served the poor, the weak, the infirmed, and the stranger. We have strayed from that purpose and have sought instead to align ourselves with the privileged, the powerful, and the wealthy in the vain hopes that we might share in that privilege, that power, that wealth. In this striving we have failed to serve the least of these who are most vulnerable; the children and elderly, the poor and the working poor, and the sojourner. We have failed to see that what we do to the least of these we in turn do to ourselves and to all that is sacred. When we enact laws that tear apart families, we are tearing apart the sacred tapestry established from the beginning of life. Such actions grieve the Spirit that weaves together the human family. Help us to know that such actions result in pain and suffering in other seemingly unrelated arenas of our state. Help us to know and feel that grief that cries out for redress are as the cries from the Hebrews who sojourned in Egypt. The suffering cries out to the heavens for redress of their injustice.
Turn us away from our self serving actions. Guide us back to being the servants of the people who are disenfranchised and made vulnerable to exploitation and abuse by an unequal system. Teach us again the meaning of the Samaritan, the one disenfranchised and hated by society turned out to be the one who was incarnated by the Spirit of Love. May we humble ourselves before the Sacred that lives within each of us. May we seek to honor the holy within each of us by enacting laws that strengthen the human family by nurturing our resident’s potentials and receiving our resident’s gifts rather than castigating their presence among us. In the Spirit of the Holy One who calls us to give voice to the voiceless, to lift up the downtrodden, and to offer hospitality to the sojourner, Amen. Let it be so.
Rev. Fred L Hammond
Minster, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Tuscaloosa