Ascension Day 2012
The city of Chicago is awash with preparation for the NATO Summit, which begins on Sunday. Many of us are approaching this event with trepidation. We are unsure about everything from traffic and public safety to how we should speak and preach about the complex and troubling moral issues of national security, economic inequality, and care for the poor that the summit and its protesters raise.
The Bible has a lot to say about these issues of money, fear and violence. While we may be unsettled by the NATO Summit and the conflict it engenders, as Christians, we cannot turn our back on it. But we can pray.
As the summit begins, let us cover it-marinate it, as I sometimes say-in prayer. Please include this collect in your services on Sunday and encourage the people of your congregations and your communities to include the NATO Summit and the protesters in their prayers:
Grant, O God, that your holy and life-giving Spirit may so move every human heart, and especially the hearts of the leaders who gather now in Chicago, that barriers which divide us may crumble, suspicions disappear, and hatreds cease; that our divisions being healed, we may live in justice and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (Book of Common Prayer, 823)
Today we celebrate the risen Christ ascending into heaven and empowering us to continue his work on earth. As we answer his call together, know that you and your ministry are included, with gratitude, in my prayers.
Jeffrey D. Lee
Bishop of Chicago