The Constitution aside, every day before the Senate we are led in Christian prayer. Hank Webb is our Chaplain. He has a wonderful accent, warmth and gentle kindness which makes me smile every day.
Our Democratic leaders have asked that the prayers be more universal to all faiths and at very least ecumenical in nature, but it seems still that the Chaplain has been instructed to give a Christian prayer which ends with "In the name of Jesus Christ our Lord." While Chaplin Webb is gone this week, a few Senators have led the prayer. I was asked by my caucus to lead the invocation this morning. Those of you who know me may think that is funny. But how could I pass a chance to speak to the body of the Senate about values, belief, humanity and what we as a state should aspire to.
Please join me in a moment of reflection or prayer.
Let us be thankful for the kindness of strangers, their compassion and generosity.
Let us see abundance not only scarcity.
I ask, let us see in this difficult time the strength and beauty in one another’s eyes, the pain in the story of the man we would condemn, the suffering of the woman we would judge, never having walked in her broken shoes.
Let us love this land, its expanse of tilled soil, pungent, its farms aging, tilted sage-covered hills, canyoned deserts and peaks of cold granite and snow.
Let us love the beauty of its wild as those whose ancestors first set foot here loved and respected the land as the source of all life, food and spiritual strength.
Let us seek the difficult path of judgment to discern whether there is freedom without justice, liberty without restraint, whether the pursuit of happiness is afforded equally and we have been judicious in the exercise of the powers we are given.
For what great society can celebrate the freedom to amass riches while others starve?
What people would not extend the tithing and generosity of our faiths to the world at large?
What exalted leaders in good conscience can choose which brother or sister, son or daughter is worthy of justice and freedom from prejudicial acts --and which is not?
Let us look up from our day, as we as a nation and state face the difficult months or years ahead:
May we choose the path that helps those who will struggle in loss.
May within us we find compassion and the generosity that makes us a nation strong enough to endure the greatest hardships as one, as a people who refuse to be divided by petty politics, generous and gentle, unified in purpose and in strength.
May we seek that all will prosper.
……..Peace be with you.