Against the Building of our Kingdoms: A Litany for Election Season
While this election is bringing up a lot of fear, anxiety, and uncertainty for many of us, I have been reminded this week that nothing that we are seeing in this season is new.
The violence invoked by Empire, the false claims of lordship by political leaders, and the co-opting of religious institution for political gain are not new realities. All throughout time and space, the people of God have struggled to live as faithful witnesses in the face of Empire, and have had to declare both with their mouths and with their lives that “Jesus is Lord” (and not Caesar), even when it was costly.
As we are reminded of this truth, let us commit ourselves to the work of building God’s kingdom and not our own in this election season. Let us remember who we belong to and how we are called to live.
Here is a short litany to remind us of these truths.
One: Jesus Christ, in this election season we declare that you alone are Lord. You alone can save.
Many: Our worship belongs to only you. You are the true Ruler of this World.
One: In our temptation to build earthy kingdoms, free us from false promises of power. Deliver us from insecurities that make us grasp for greatness and domination.
Many: Help us to submit to your rule and participate in your realm, in which power is shared, strength comes through vulnerability, and violence is no more.
One: In our insatiable love of money, free us from choosing profit over people, from thinking that we never have enough. Deliver us from the worship of two masters.
Many: Help us to participate in your realm, in which we all receive our daily bread- an equitable world where neither poverty nor hoarding have any place.
One: In our worship of personality, free us from short-sighted loyalties to human leaders. Deliver us from co-opting your name for political gain.
Many: Help us to participate in your realm, where You reign eternal and every false claim to lordship is exposed and undone.
One: In our bending of the rules and twisting of laws, free us from using law and order as a means of subjugation. Deliver us from our neglect of true justice.
Many: Help us to participate in your realm that is governed by truth, goodness, and mercy. Make us loyal to your law of shalom that leads to life and flourishing for all.
One: In our desire to be in control, free us from the temptation to give this election more power or less power than it rightly deserves. Deliver us from both faulty optimism and disheartened fatalism.
Many: Help us to participate in your realm by faithfully doing our part. Teach us how to steward what you’ve given us, while remembering where our true citizenship is found.
One: In the face of opposition, confusion, and division, would you make our hearts resolved, our vision clear, and our allegiance to You steadfast.
Many: No matter what these days hold, help us to live as faithful witnesses to your resurrection power. Help us declare with our mouths and our lives that Jesus is Lord. And may Your Kingdom come, and your will be done, here on earth as it is in heaven. Amen.