David Saperstein is the rabbi/attorney who runs the Religious Action Center, Reform Judaism's jewel in Washington. He's in his third wondrous decade there now. His vision is prophetic. He comforts the afflicted and afflicts the comfortable.
Here's the invocation he gave last night at Invesco Field:
Rabbi David Saperstein
Thursday, August 28, 2008
God of our memories and our hopes,
God of this urgent moment,
You ennoble our lives,
By empowering us to do your work here on Earth
In creating a world of justice and peace for all.
To this task, we pledge our hands, our hearts, our devoted service.
We pray this day, for the safety of the valiant men and women of our armed forces
And for the recovery of body and mind of those who have been injured.
And to the families of those who have fallen, in service to our country,
We say, in the traditional Hebrew phrase:
May their memory be for an everlasting blessing.
Grant your spirit to these proceedings,
To the delegates gathered here tonight,
And to the millions of viewers and listeners, that they may be stirred to work for a better world.
We pray for America,
That it may ever be a light unto the nations,
A beacon of freedom,
And economic opportunity;
The protector of this precious Earth,
Which you have entrusted to our care;
The guardian of Dr. King's dream of equality for all,
Proclaimed 45 years ago this day.
As this election proceeds,
May your name be invoked only to inspire and unify our nation,
But never to divide it.
In that spirit,
We ask your blessing on all the leaders and public servants of our nation,
Of whatever political party,
That they may lead wisely and, with civility, work together for the common good.
And we ask especially that you be with that mighty guardian of the contemporary American conscience, Edward Kennedy.
We ask that you send your blessing on Joseph Biden.
And now, on this historic day, upon Barack Obama,
As he is charged with such urgent responsibilities as candidate for the highest political office in our nation.
Guide him that he may ever be a champion for justice.
These things we ask of you, eternal God, in the light of renewed hope.
May we go forward with confidence,
Inspired by America's wondrous achievements,
Undaunted by the challenges before us,
Secure in the knowledge that we can be the shapers of a brighter future,
Committed that the torch of hope shall pass from hand to hand, From heart to heart,
Until the radiance of peace and righteousness for all God's children shines to the ends of the earth.