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Dear Reader

I compose and post these articles with only one desire in my heart: to praise God and to offer modest help on your spiritual journey.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

LET US PRAY

As we head into the last days before election day, let us fervently
pray for our nation.

As faith-filled citizens let us turn to our God and pray first for our
own hearts. Our opinions and convictions may prompt strong feelings
one way or the other, but we must seek to still our fears and inflame
our hearts to greater understanding, acceptance, mercy and
forgiveness. Before we can pray for others we must pray that ourselves
are centered on the God who is God for all.

None of us can make claim that God is alone on our side. No more than
one football team can make claim on God against all other teams who
bow their heads and join in prayer.

What does God ask of each of us? That we treat each other with
respect. That means as hard as it may be to accept a brother or sister
who is the political opposite of my conviction I must recognize
nonetheless they are a child of God with the same love of God as
myself. I may not be able to explain, comprehend, or wrap my head
around why someone believes in a party or candidate different from my
own religious values and convictions, they are still a fellow citizen
of equal value and worth.

Civility is greatly strained in our culture today. Some say it is gone
all together. But for people of faith the standard is even greater.
Respect for our differences should be our standard. Yet our religious
convictions may tempt us to take a superior or smug attitude towards
other political views. This being so, as people of faith we must be
willing to examine our heart and root out our sweeping dismissals of
opposing views.

The group of religious leaders that I associate with, Kingman United
Pastoral Association (KUPA) brings together Lutheran, Episcopal,
Muslim, Later Day Saints, Catholic and Jewish. As people of faith we
have stood for peace, understanding and mutual respect. As religious
leaders, we are deeply immersed in our own religious traditions. We
have profound differences as well as profound understanding and
respect for what we hold as children of God. We make every effort
towards deepening that respect not only among ourselves but in our
congregations and the community beyond our walls.

Applying these same principles to our political views can be equally
challenging. Yet that is what we are called to do. Not to demand
unanimity but to create harmony from diversity. A reflection of the
creator who creates diversity in color, shapes and species.

So, I call upon all people of faith to join me in prayer for our
nation. E pluribus Unum, from many one. As we commit ourselves to
purify our hearts, may we contribute to the harmony we can create from
our very disparate convictions to celebrate our democracy as one
nation under God.

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