Opening prayer offered by Tamara Boynton of the Interfaith Alliance of Colorado on April 13, 2021
Holy One, we come before you in awe of the many ways you speak to us. Through our religious traditions, our faith, our communities, and our very lives. We come before you grateful that you have gifted the world with so many different ways to understand your presence. We come before you knowing that our own traditions can only find respect when we respect the religious and faith traditions of others.
God, we celebrate that our founding document, the United State Constitution, outlines a right to religious freedom. We celebrate that that right is an equal protection for all people in our country. We celebrate that we are called to bring forward the values from our own traditions, and always challenged to resist the urge to impose our values on others. We celebrate on this first month of the first day of the holy month of Ramadan, that this freedom is not just for the most common, most numerous, or most familiar religious traditions in our country. But it is for all of us, and is central to our identity as a pluralistic, inclusive and free society.
Holy One, we know that humankind has used religion throughout history to justify harm, to discriminate against those who think or do differently than we do, to sanction prejudicial treatment, and ultimately, as the crucifixion reminds us, to kill those who threaten the religious status quo.
Today we are reminded that the very people who fled persecution in their home country centuries ago came to this land and promptly began persecuting those already living here. Ours is a complicated history, God. And yet, the Easter story also reminds people across our nation that oppression, control and even death are not the end of your story, God. As we pursue, life, liberty and happiness in this country with great strengths and great work to do.
On this day in celebration of religious freedom, as we joyfully gather with others from traditions different than our own, to listen, and learn, and continue to build the world we seek, to unite in our diversity we admire the diversity of you presence and your voice, God. And we know you are bigger than any of us can imagine.
May the freedom we find in our faith traditions guide our celebration today and in all the many ways we pray, I pray in the name of Jesus the Christ, Amen.