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Prayer for the World January 24, 2023

 

Continuing the Journey of Transforming Grace:

Transforming Presence vs Polarization

 

Introduction

Polarization is division into two sharply contrasting groups or sets of opinions

or beliefs.  This is the opposite of the Good News of the Kingdom where unity ahd respect for the other are the goal.  What can we do to move more toward Kingdom values and away from attitudes that divide?

“This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” MK 1:14


Song: Taizé - virtual choir : Veni Sancte Spiritus https://youtu.be/us-v4slsUX4?si=b8Qqgav0zpIpe6BP


Ideas from  Bob Bordone and the Effects of Political Polarization:

Lessons from a Negotiation Expert

Seems we are divided about everything except that political polarization is harmful.   Many seem to agree on that.  Bordone names negative effects of polarization;

  1. Polarization tends to lead to dehumanization and demonization of those with whom we disagree.  We turn the other side into cartoon characters, extremes.  We see them as threats or even monsters.  The views of the other side are part of the problem—working with them is seen as being a traitor—

  2. Polarization creates stress and tension in our personal relationships, e.g., coming together over a holiday.  We dread what might happen if a political conversation comes up.

Then he proposes 3 Steps we can take to reduce polarization:

  1. Work on being curious about those who think differently than we do.

  2. Build relationships with those who have different views from our own. (choose 1or 2 people—reach out and have a conversation)

  3. In a situation where you are sure you are right, choose to listen more and talk less.

Prayer : Spirit of God, open our ears that we might hear those with whom we differ; open our minds, that we might learn beyond our comfort zone; open our hearts, that we might know the call to love in this moment, this day, this week.  Amen.

 

Silent Reflection

 

Song/Prayer

India Arie: Prayer for Humanity

 

If we can learn what it means to really love ourselves

Then we can learn to love our neighbors as we love ourselves

And we can live in harmony, see ourselves as a family

This is my prayer for humanity

 

That we respect our women, and protect our girls

That they feel safe in every corner of the world

That we can live in harmony, see ourselves as a family

This is my prayer for humanity, oh-oh

 

That every man will be a father to someone

By loving every boy as if he were his only son

That we can live in harmony, see ourselves as a family

This is my prayer

This is my prayer for humanity, oh

 

That we know that nobody really wins the war (Really wins the war)

And every leader knows what power is really for

That we can live in harmony, see ourselves as a family

This is our prayer (This is our prayer)

This is our prayer (This is our prayer) For humanity, yeah, oh

 

And every man, woman, boy, and girl

Will hear these words all across the world

And every man, woman, boy, and girl

Will hear these words all across the world

And every man, woman, boy, and girl

Will hear these words all across the world

This is my prayer (This is my prayer)

For humanity

 

Silent Reflection

 

Song

 

Practice

Bob Bordone

What are the Effects of Political Polarization:

Lessons from a Negotiation Expert

3 Steps to address polarization in your own circle of relationship and influence

 

Questions for Reflection

  • Dwelling in silence, allow the Spirit to guide you in contemplative listening

  • Name a step that you are ready to take towards addressing polarization, being as concrete as possible.

  • Choose a group or individual that can be your “accountability partner” as you practice breaking the barriers of polarization and division.

 

Poem

Out Beyond Ideas of Wrongdoing and Rightdoing

Rumi

 

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,

There is a field. I’ll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass,

The world is too full to talk about.

Ideas, language, even the phrase each other

Doesn’t make any sense.

 

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