Gardens and Gavels
Opening Prayer for the Colorado House of Representatives
Rabbi Joseph R. Black
Temple Emanuel – Denver, CO
April 4, 2013
Our God and God of Times and Seasons.
We have come here this morning to bring about change. The dynamic process of debate and discussion that begins with drop of the speaker’s gavel, while imperfect, represents our human desire to bring our world one step closer to holiness.
Legislation will be carefully crafted. Today is a day when our State budget will be debated.
Words will be chosen with exquisite care – designed both to provoke and to move the hearts and souls of colleagues on opposite sides of the isle.
Alliances will be forged and broken and forged again – subject to economic feasibility, party platform, the whims of political reality and the delicate dance of public opinion.
In truth legislating and budgeting are messy processes.
The walls of this chamber sometimes seem to be all consuming, and yet, outside it is almost time for planting.
Those who dream of gardens know that the soil must first be prepared; last autumn’s debris removed and nutrients must be liberally applied.
The seeds that promise both blossom and harvest lie dormant in the palms of our hands – waiting to be nestled in the warm embrace of fertile soil soaked in life-giving water.
Holy Creator - may these men and women who labor on our behalf become gardeners. Give them the strength to till the fields; to break new ground, to water new shoots and, (dare I say it?), spread the fertilizer necessary to bring to harvest a comprehensive budget for our state.
Give them the tools they will need. Help them to remember that the ever-changing climate of Spring will soon give way to the consistent warmth of summer.
May ours be a balanced garden – and a balanced budget- filled with both beauty and sustenance. May the harvest of this session overflow with goodness and compassion.
We pray for rain. We pray for strength. We give thanks for the ability to be your partner in growing a better world.