And so this Christmas, join me in a prayer of peace and healing for our world.
For LGBTQ people who cannot go home for the holidays because their family rejects how God created them, I pray they find a home. For people who are attacked for loving the person they love, or for becoming who they were born to be, I pray for safety and healing. For those who pervert the Word of God to justify hate towards LGBTQ people, I pray they may learn what Jesus meant when he said “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
For the victims of racial injustice and their families, for Sandra Bland, Walter Scott, Jamar Clark, and the many others we have lost this year, I pray for justice. For those who live in fear of the police who should protect them, I pray for safety. For people who deny the reality of racism, I pray their eyes may be opened to the truth. For people who claim a white shooter is a lone wolf, but a black or Middle Eastern shooter is representative of their whole race or religion, I pray they may see their hypocrisy. For a system that decides the value of a person based on the amount of melanin in their skin, I pray for leaders who can bring change.
For the refugees driven from their homes by violent radicals, only to be rejected by the place they turn to for help, I pray for safety. For people who are threatened in their own homes because of their religion, I pray for tolerance and acceptance. For people who listen to the fear mongering and bigotry, I pray they may have the courage to extend love instead. For a country in danger of falling under the sway of leaders who encourage hate and violence, I pray we may all have wisdom to discern who to follow.
Finally, I pray that I may have the strength and courage to stand up to injustice and violence and bigotry. I pray that I can use the many blessings you have given me to be an answer to the prayers of others. Every day, help me as I strive to follow the example of love and sacrifice set by Christ in his birth, life, death, and resurrection. Let my life reflect your love. In the words of St. Francis, God, “make me an instrument of thy peace.”