The Pursuit of Bravery: A Prayer for Easter

Author: John Lucas Kovasckitz

I wrote the lines below a couple of nights ago, after watching an interview with President Trump regarding his orders to bomb Syria...orders which he gave from his private resort, while dining with the President of China and eating "the most beautiful piece of chocolate cake you've ever seen". He then misspoke, saying that he had given the orders to launch 59 missiles headed to Iraq - quickly corrected to Syria by the interviewer who was hanging on his every word.

I was sickened...sickened by the flippancy of it all. I'm sickened by a lot of things these days, and I'm often sickened by the helplessness that I feel. I'm sickened that bombs are seen by many as a humanitarian response following the use of chemical weapons...to "protect" those upon whom we have otherwise effectively closed our doors. 

And I'm sickened that sometimes, within the times that we live, a bombing could perhaps be an act of justice. And if so, maybe we should just eat as much beautiful chocolate cake as we can, because it doesn't matter much anyway. 

I don't like chocolate cake. I've never liked any kind of chocolate...I don't know why - and I'm not a picky eater - but my gag reflex activates when I taste chocolate. At birthday parties I would receive pity, because everyone likes chocolate cake

As we enter the time for remembrance of the death and resurrection of Jesus (whether you believe physically, or at least as a symbol), my prayer for us is this: f--- chocolate cake. 

Jesus was a revolutionary; he was not on the side of the empire, and he stood up to systems of powerful oppression. He stood up for the orphan, the widow, the marginalized, the forgotten, the politically undesirable, the detested, the outsider. Because of this, because he claimed to be the Son of God (as was historically the Ceasar, the political ruler, believed to have divine birth), Jesus was brutally beaten and crucified. 

Let us not whitewash the death and life of Jesus. Let us not deify our nation. Let us not value the lives of others, or our own lives, based on the borders in which we were born. May the lines below offend you, and may they offend me. 

May we move past empty words and prayers and into the great Revolution. 

 

Oh Prince of Peace,

bless these bombs and bullets -

may they always find their true home

within the flesh of the wicked.

 

Oh God of mercy,

give no mercy to our enemies

give no rest for the refugee who is not of your kingdom.

 

Oh God of justice,

fill thine prisons to overflowing

with those who misuse your name -

for in these holy houses there are many rooms.

 

Oh great comforter,

give my tribe comfort - 

as we have earned the comfort of the wicked

who have not received your favor.

 

For wide is the path of destruction

but narrow is the gate to the holy land -

of these United States.

For you knit me together in my mother’s womb;

before I was born, you knew I was worthy to live in the promised land.

 

Oh God, my Father

the wicked know not what they do.

Thank you, Jesus, for your sacrifice

and that you ask nothing of me in return.

 

Thank you for your service to this country

and for the terrors you have endured

to keep me clean and blameless.

Thank you for the blood you have shed

to keep me spotless in your sight.

 

By your stars and stripes, I am made whole.

 

Oh God of freedom,

you have made me a citizen of your country forever -

may no outsider enter your gates.

For thine is the kingdom

and the power

and the glory

forever

 

Amen

 

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Cover image by Dario-Jacopo Laganà, found through Flickr / Creative Commons. Artist's website: http://www.norte.it