On the Raising of the Israeli Flag, Danbury, October 12, 2023
(Posted October 13, 2023)
Rev. Dr. Pat Kriss delivered these insights and prayers during a City Hall Peace Vigil on Thursday, October 12, 2023.
In these dark and trying days, we look to the One who shines down this Autumn light on us all.
Holy One, we ask your intercession.
Help us realize that the vast majority of us are the Children of Abraham - we are Jews, Muslims and Christians. We are sons and daughters of Issac, of Ishmael, of Jesus, of Issa.
We share in common a belief in angels. If ever there was a time that angels are needed, it is now. We ask the One who put us here to help us remember the words of Abraham Lincoln, at his first inauguration. He called on a divided America to remember:
"We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection." Lincoln asked that we be touched by "the Better Angels of our nature."
Those better angels are humane-ness, compassion, good will, and tolerance.
At a time of war, we must search for those angels in our hearts more than the sky. But, we all have in common one angel: Michael. His name is pronounced differently in our prayers.
In Hebrew he is Mich-AEL. The Chief, the Protector.
In Islam he is Mik EEL, second only to Gavrael in power.
In Christianity he is Michael the Archangel.
Not only a warrior, but the One who makes things right. The one who can drive away the Harpies of Hate who shed the blood of the innocent and the fragile. The Harpies of Hate that so much plague this world today.
Michael the Archangel brings justice and restores peace. His protection was promised to us by the Prophet Daniel (12:1-3) in the Hebrew Bible. I close this prayer with the words about that promised Angel:
''At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people -- everyone whose name is found written in the book -- will be delivered. Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. I Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness will shine, like the stars, for ever and ever.”
Holy One, you who shine down on us today, bring us your wisdom and your peace.