Today is a wonderfully sunny day. I cannot help but feel the joy of our Lord. Even so, have you noticed? Every day we are surrounded with news of violence in our communities, our nation, and throughout the world. It is disheartening at best.
With all the tension surrounding us, I find it helps to ease my anxiety by taking a deep breath…and praying. This summer I invite you to join with me each day and pray for peace throughout the world.
Let us pray for peace and justice. Let us pray that all people confess the sins they commit and have committed against neighbors and creation.
Of course, let us pray for the victims of injustice, oppression and violence. May these folks be able to offer forgiveness. May they lead us forward in peace exposing to us the misfortune of hatred, revenge and retribution.
Above all let us pray that the peace and love of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ may be heard above the deafening roar of self-interest in this world. By the power of the Holy Spirit may we be instruments of peace…may we recognize others who are not like us as instruments of peace as well.
Of course, we can begin at home. We can begin in our communities. By what we say and how we act we can demonstrate what it means to be in healthy conversation…especially with those who disagree with us…or with whom we are uncomfortable…or who are uncomfortable with us.
We can leave our comfort zones. Several years ago I witnessed a person spewing racist comments to a restaurant worker. When I confronted the behavior that person threatened me. But the people around me came to my defense and offered me protection. And we as a group offered forgiveness…
God forgives us for much less. Think about it. Are we in conflict with a loved one or a co-worker? Perhaps a neighbor? During moments of tension and conflict it is wise to remember peace begins in the heart…with God. Always.
Christ’s Peace, Pastor Steve