Marian Wright EdelmanOp-EdOpinion

MARIAN WRIGHT EDELMAN: Prayers for the Holy Season

All during the Christmas season, as millions celebrate a poor, homeless child Christians call Savior, I think about the irony of some political leaders proposing (and citizens permitting) policies that would result in millions more children becoming destitute, homeless, and hungry and being detained and cruelly separated from their parents at our borders.

There are 12.8 million children living in poverty in our nation. Children are the poorest Americans and the younger they are, the poorer they are. Nearly one in five children live in families who don’t always have enough to eat. Children are being tear-gassed at our border and dying in U.S. custody, like 7-year-old Jakelin Caal Maquin, the little girl from Guatemala who died Dec. 8 while being held by Border Patrol in New Mexico. Herod is riding rampant across our land again.

Lord help us.

**

Lord, it is Christmas and
Herod is searching for and destroying our children,
pillaging their houses, corrupting their minds, poisoning their views,
killing and imprisoning the sons, orphaning the daughters,
widowing the mothers.

Herod’s soldiers are everywhere,
in government, on Wall Street, in religious houses, schoolhouses and movie houses,

Please lead us and our children to safety.

**

The next prayer is from “Thankful Praise: A Resource for Christian Worship,” edited by Keith Watkins:

God, we confess that ours is still a world in which Herod seems to rule:
The powerful are revered,
The visions of the wise are ignored,
The poor are afflicted,
And the innocent are killed.

You show us that salvation comes in the vulnerability of a child,
yet we hunger for the “security” of weapons and walls.

You teach us that freedom comes in loving service,
yet we trample on others in our efforts to be “free.”

Forgive us, God, when we look to the palace
instead of the stable,
when we heed politicians more than prophets.

Renew us with the spirit of Bethlehem,
That we may be better prepared for Your coming.

Amen.

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