After returning to my birthplace of Selma, Alabama on the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday, March 8, 2015.
Let us pray.
Thank you God for the gift of Selma.
We are grateful for every one who showed up on Bloody Sunday on March 7, 1965, and those who still remember 50 years later.
We are thankful for those who were brave enough to risk their lives on behalf of all, so that every person could have the opportunity for his or her vote to be counted. We also pray for the persons, and their families, who were given the order to turn back their fellow citizens with force. Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us, so that we can all be free.
Teach us from this experience.
Help us to see that Selma is our community wherever we live, and that all human beings are our family, both those we like and dislike, those with whom we agree and disagree, and those whom we love and don’t. Help us to practice loving one another as you love us.
We are grateful for the gift of this family reunion of humans in Selma.
Remind us who represent many faiths, and those with little or lost faith, and those who are black, brown, and white, that we are all precious in your sight.
And lead us not into the temptation of thinking that we have arrived and need not change anything else in our lives. We have more steps to walk in this march because we still live in a time, where words and laws are used to exclude others from rights that most take for granted. Empower us to show up and change these laws that favor the majority, and ignore the minority.
Help us also to resist the temptation to build fences and walls that separate us. and instead empower us to have faith to build new bridges, and then to walk across them in order to connect with one another.
Most of all, remind us that we cannot, and should not, place our ultimate hope or trust in any government. For lasting change ultimately comes from changed hearts, O God of Love, and this only you can do, and to you we pledge our allegiance.
In your loving name we pray, Amen.