Tuesday, August 15, 2017
My dear friends,
Today, August 15, is the Feast of Saint Mary the Virgin in which we observe the life of the mother of Our Lord and pray that “we may share with her the glory of (God’s) eternal kingdom.” Today is also my first day back from vacation in which I’ve read several U.S. presidential biographies for my own relaxation and edification. It is always interesting and clarifying to gain a greater perspective on times past. Sometimes the opinions of past generations are simply interesting; sometimes greatly alarming. We then have the roles as citizens and people of faith of making sense of those times past in our own time.
I’m sure you are aware of the intense struggle going on today regarding the sin of racism as well as a cultural claim, made by some, to white supremacy. In recent days there have been violent deaths, shrill voices of hatred in our streets, and tension in our politics.
I write to remind us of our roles as people of faith as to amplify our citizenship. The second prayer for Mission found, and used, in the Morning Prayer Daily Office reads:
O God, you have made of one blood all the peoples of the earth, and sent your blessed Son to preach peace to those who are far off and to those who are near: Grant that people everywhere may seek after you and find you; bring the nations into your fold; pour out your Spirit upon all flesh; and hasten the coming of your kingdom; through
Jesus Christ our Lord.
This prayer was originally composed by The Rt. Rev. George Edward Lynch Cotton, the missionary bishop of Calcutta, India (served 1858-1866.) It contains a number of scriptural quotations and affirmations. I bring it to your attention simply because of the theological truth that God has “made of one blood all the peoples of the earth.” This is a necessary reminder of God’s truth especially when threatening hatred is shouted in our streets. God has made to love each other and serve God together….as one blood!
I encourage you to pray this prayer for mission both as individuals and in corporate worship. Thank You and may God Continue to Bless you; and may you bless others!
The Rt. Rev. Dabney T. Smith
Fifth Bishop of the Diocese of Southwest Florid