Thursday, February 27, 2014

Invocation for the CO State House. February 27, 2014

Invocation for the Colorado State House of Representatives
February 27, 2014
Rabbi Joseph R. Black – Temple Emanuel, Denver, CO

God – you dwell on High.  You lie down with those in the street.
God – your voice rolls down like thunder.  We find You in the silent questions that plague us in the middle of the night.

God – You set a standard for our behavior.  You are filled with mercy and compassion for our frailties.

God - on this day of deliberation – help these legislators find You – not in the absolute or categorical imperatives that draw lines in the ideological sands of partisanship; but rather let them see you in their doubts, in their questions, in their struggles to fulfill the needs of our community.  Help them to find the words and the stories to stir each other’s  souls.  Open their hearts to the possible and the improbable.  Help them to find the human and the divine in their colleagues, their constituents and in themselves.

In times of instability, help us to stay balanced.

In times of Torpor, help us to feel uneasy.

Push us to find humor and banish hubris in the daily interactions of our lives.

Give us - all of us - this day:  a moment of tranquility and transcendence, so that we might rise above our ordinariness and glimpse the glory of Your greatness.

Let us see it in ourselves.  Let us see it in these deliberations.  Let us see it in one another.

Then, and only then, will we merit the gifts You have bestowed upon us.


Thursday, February 6, 2014

Invocation for the Colorado State House of Representatives - 2/6/14

Our God and God of all people, you give us the gift of self-reflection.

As we prepare to begin a new day of deliberation, we take a moment to appreciate the fact that we are alive. 
With each breath we take, we fill not only our lungs with air - but also we infuse our souls with meaning.
Life is a gift.  What we do with that gift depends on our awareness of the preciousness and precariousness of our daily existence.

That we are here together in this sacred chamber of deliberation is a reflection – not only of the fact that the members of our community have placed their trust in these lawmakers, but also in the potential for change and healing that can take place in the deliberations and debate that make up the business of this body.
And so, as we take this moment of reflection, let us ask ourselves: What do we hope to accomplish today?

Whose lives are we impacting?  
What are the needs of our community?
Who feels pain? 
Who fears the future?
Who is poised for greatness?

How can we take the time we have together to work to improve our state, our communities, our families?  Ourselves?

Help these legislators to see that the issues that they are discussing and the laws they are enacting should serve to enlighten and animate the Divine implanted within them and the people they serve.

May any disagreements that arise be for the sake of bringing healing and wholeness to our world.

Let the perils of partisanship give way to the echoes of empathy – and may the work of these legislators  reflect the highest values of each of our faith communities.

Bless these proceedings and all those who labor here today. 
And let us say, AMEN