Wednesday, May 06, 2009

National Day of Prayer

It's been far from skies like this over Charleston these last few days, but I thought it was a cool different image (I kind of figured you were getting tired of seeing images from a hospital room too.).

I just heard that for the first time since it's inception in 1952, there would not be a National Day of Prayer event at the White House. This event has been part of the history of our nation, but this year, our President has opted to not have a NDP event, but rather chooses to say his prayers in private according to recent news posts and a recent twitter report I read and Re-tweeted.

As I think about this, my mind goes in a couple of directions. I think about my lack of participation in community events, and typically it is because I have different priorities with regard to the event. Sometimes I don't participate in events because the event doesn't have value to me. Sometimes I don't participate simply because I have limited time and I have to say 'no' to some things to be able to say 'yes' to others. Sometimes I don't participate publicly in events so I can do some type of private celebration. But usually, there is a mix of public and private participation.

President Obama has shared that he would like to celebrate the national day of prayer in privacy according to recent news posts. Now I'll share why I'm divided over this fact. I'm divided because I think that there's a strength to folks staying at home and away from the public to focus on prayer and intercession to the Creator of the universe for the sake of the people who live in our neighborhoods and beyond. At the same time, the NDP has become a community celebration that celebrates both faith and good citizenship.

I could waffle back and forth between the strengths and weaknesses of these different perspectives, but I think you get the point. Now I need to ask you this simple question. How will you spend Thursday May 7th, 2009? Will you participate in a public event? Will you spend time in prayer at home? Will you rise up to the challenge and participate at all?

There's a few hours to decide, and then the day will have passed. What will you do?

PS For more information on the history of a National Day of Prayer, click here for wikipedia and here for another religious tolerance NDP site.

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