Faith and Power

The text for Mitch Randall’s sermon was the story of Simon the magician in Acts 8. As I though about the passage, I was struck by Simon’s willingness to pay for the power to confer the Holy Spirit on others, that is, his desire to exchange financial power for religious power. That, in turn, prompted me to think about the current role of religion in politics.

This week’s prayer:

You know my heart, O Lord.
The things that are hidden
from me are laid bare
before your eyes.

What are the reasons
for proclaiming my faith?

Is it for your glory,
or for my own?

Is it to welcome
others into your kingdom,
or to exclude them
from mine?

We have turned faith
into a commodity,
something to buy and sell
in the marketplace,
and used your holy name
as an instrument of
worldly power.

Open my grasping hands,
help me to raise them
in service to others
and in worship to you.