Spartanburg, South Carolina
September 27, 2010
O God, noise is all around. Some noises are good and soothing, as when we hear wind rustling autumn leaves or rain falling on our roof after many long, hot days. Some noises are pleasing, as when we hear children singing exuberant songs of joy and delight. Some noises are difficult to hear, as when we hear people crying out from the depths of their pain and isolation. Some noises are troubling, as when we hear people berating others, questioning their motives, and denying their right to participate fully in public life.
O God, we read again and again in the Psalmist’s songs that we are to make joyful noises. Grant these our leaders, the wisdom and compassion to find joy and meaning in their common work, and grant them courage to join their voices to the pleasing, joyful, and good sounds in our city.
When they feel pressure, grant them patience. When they feel pulled from many directions, grant them discernment. When they feel the urge to join their voices to the cacophonous bluster of our world, where people far too often demean and belittle those deemed to be their opponents rather than listening with caring and openness to hear others’ different points of view, give them reminders that their words, their actions, their motives, and the ways in which they conduct their important work matter greatly – to each other, to our city, and to its people.
Grant them reminders that they have the great privilege and serious responsibility to work for a city in which all people’s voices may be heard and, together, may they make joyful noises in this place – to the benefit of all the people they are elected to serve. Amen.