Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Opening Prayer for the Colorado House At Budget Time.

Opening Prayer for the Colorado House of Representatives
April 11, 2012
Rabbi Joseph R. Black – Temple Emanuel – Denver, CO

God – where can we find you?
Are you only in the sanctuaries of the faithful where ritual and rubric move in a carefully choreographed  routine of dedicated petition and praise?
Or, perhaps you reside in the rooms of the sick and dying - where fevered prayer cries out in desperation and faith.
Are you in the mountain top from which – newly melted snow flows into the thirsty valleys below…
Can we catch a glimpse of your presence in the majestic sunsets that fill our hearts with awe and our minds with wonder?
Is there any limit to your presence?
Surely – there is no place for you in the figures and the formulae that fill the pages of our State budget.
You cannot possibly be found in the amendments, revenue forecasts, cuts and proposals that have kept these lawmakers in these chambers late into the night.
And yet…. Each number, each column each redline and reshuffling reflects our values and our ability to make a difference  - to build, to teach, to heal – to tear down, to eliminate and to eradicate……
We are finite beings – O immortal Creator.  We can only work with the tools and the resources You give us. 
Help these legislators to see the souls of all who are impacted by the decisions they make. 
Let them understand the hope and fear of the vulnerable and infirm;
Show them the faces of the children and the teachers, the nurses and the social workers, the police and firemen and women  and so many more on whom we depend and who depend on these elected officials to ensure that they can do their sacred work.
Let them see that politics and party-lines serve no purpose other than to obscure Your presence from the sacred deliberations that take place in this hallowed hall.
Give these legislators the strength to do what is right and to honor the dignity of all of your creation.
Let them move away from partisanship and look to the light of compromise – of partnership – of mutual support and respect as they make the difficult decisions that will affect all of us.
You are here – God – now.  Let us feel Your presence. And let that awareness move us all to a higher calling.

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