Tag Archives: reconciliation

Peace on a Day of Remembrance

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Sunday, September 11 2016

peace-dove-earth

Peace on a Day of Remembrance

I read the last two verses of Psalm 120, feeling sad and disheartened. The psalmist seems disheartened, too. 120:6 – “Too long have I lived among those who hate peace.”

Yes, this is one of the psalms (or songs) which were historically said or used or read in the procession to the Temple in Jerusalem. However, these verses of scripture look to be positive towards peace. Even though peace may seem to be a really positive idea, he has dwelt among the hate-mongers too long.

I suspect the psalmist is jaded. Doubtful that any change—positive change—can come. What is to be done? 120:7 – “I am a person of peace, but when I speak, they are for war.”

This verse makes me really disheartened, as I said. At first glance, there is no hope, no positive side to be found. However, the psalmist could be at the end of his rope. So far gone, that he falls at the feet of God. He might realize he depends on God alone, if those surrounding him were persistently crying out for war.

Peace. Crying out for peace. Sometimes it seems that I am a lone voice crying out for peace. God, especially with the reminder of September 11th fresh in all of our minds, help me to be a catalyst for peace and reconciliation. Help us all to spread the words of peace, wholeness and harmony. So help me, God.

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.  #PursuePEACE. My Facebook page, Pursuing Peace – Thanks! And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

Peace, When We Really Need It

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Sunday, June 12, 2016

instrument of Your peace, round

Peace, When We Really Need It

Thinking sober thoughts. Really serious, somber ones.

A horrific shooting happened this past weekend in Orlando, Florida. A senseless act carried out by someone hopelessly blinded by hatred and violence.

Yes, I am thinking about those who witnessed this tragedy as well as those who are fighting for their lives in the hospital. I am thinking about all those who died, as well as all those who have family members or loved ones struggling and grieving right now. I remember the LGBTQ community: so shattered, so stunned. Pray.

Pray. Pray. Keep on praying.

Whether in urban centers or small towns, thinking of LGBTQs across America, please pray. And if you cannot pray at this time, please send gentle thoughts of peace and reconciliation.

For God so loved the world. Period.

God willing, may I hold peace lightly, but at the same time, with hope and expectancy. Lord, in Your mercy, hear all of our prayers.

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza  And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

PEACE, Best Achieved Alongside of Justice (Repost)

This repost is a wonderful reminder that PEACE is multi-faceted. God, help us all to #PursuePEACE in whatever way we are able.

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Monday, February 29, 2016

 

shalom butterflies light love

PEACE, Best Achieved Alongside of Justice

As I continue to ask people for their personal definition of PEACE, I am intrigued by the ones who have to think hard about the word or phrase they choose. Sometimes, taking a good deal of time for the answer. I am equally interested in the ones who immediately know what their definition is going to be.

Continuing the listening tour. I am traveling around in my efforts to pursue PEACE.

My friend and colleague from St. John’s Lutheran Church, Rev. Joe McInnis, invited me to attend the church he pastors, in Wilmette, Illinois. One of his parishioners knew immediately what his personal definition was, and he told me so!

An older man of definite ideas and opinions, his name is Peter Knobel. He told me PEACE is best achieved alongside of justice.

I told him how deep that point of view was! I asked him to elaborate. He said, “People sometimes associate peace with power and victory. A different vector of peace is alongside of justice. Like in South Africa, where for years they had a reconciliation and peace movement.” Peter considers peace and justice as closely connected. In his view, peace is best achieved using just and equitable means.

Peter’s words inspired me to think deeply. Yes, peace is an important concept. Yet, peace is out of reach for many people, throughout the world, especially in places of dissention, fighting and outright warfare. When Peter mentioned South Africa, I remembered several personal accounts I both read and heard of the troubles in South Africa.

Many people did not experience peace. Many people had horrible things happen to them, to their relatives and comrades, and to their homes and all they held dear. We cannot just wallpaper over those horrible, gut-wrenching, intensely agonizing events.

Yes, hurting people hurt people. Yes, hurting people need to be offered the place and the space to express that hurt, that pain, that anguish, that anger. And, yes. Hurting people can travel through their pain, through the muck and the mire, and come out the other side. Hurting people can journey the path of victim—through the possibility of justice, and out on the other side. They can identify as survivors. Finally—they can start that journey towards peace. Peacefulness. All because of justice.

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza  And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

Pursue PEACE – PEACE = Holiness (Repost)

This repost is especially for the Facebook page Pursuing Peace.

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Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Friday, February 12, 2016

Pursue PEACE – PEACE = Holiness

Intriguing thought! Peace equals holiness. I had to step back and think about this particular definition for a bit. Let it penetrate my mind and heart.

The name of the person I talked to? Chuck. Also known as Dr. Charles L. Reid III, his personal definition of peace: PEACE = Holiness.

Chuck did not waste any time in coming up with his personal definition. He knew. He was sure. He is the pastor of the Bethesda Worship Center in Des Plaines. His definition came straight from the New Testament, from Hebrews 12:14. “Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.” (NIV)

As I mentioned, I was quite intrigued by this definition. I asked Pastor Chuck to explain further. He said, “From what is given in Scripture as a guide for living, holiness should be an objective for our lives.  Therefore, PEACE = Holiness was what came to my mind when asked about peace.  The pursuit of peace and reconciliation reflects Christ’s ministry of bringing peace and reconciliation.  When holiness abides within, PEACE will live also.”

Yes, I do agree. Excellent concept. Truly a worthwhile objective to strive for.

As for a moral compass and guide to living, Scripture is certainly a time-tested compass. Thank you, Pastor Chuck. I appreciate you and your example of pursuing peace and reconciliation, with holiness a big part in your life.

Let’s pray. Dear Lord, gracious God, thank You for this thought-provoking definition of PEACE. Allow it to work into all of our hearts and take root. Thank You for Pastor Chuck, his wife Barbara, and all of the congregation at Bethesda Worship Center. Help each of them to live at peace with their fellows. Dear Lord, striving to be holy is a large part of walking with You. Help Your works and Your words to accomplish Your purposes. Especially Your wish to have all people live in PEACE. Thank You, God!

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza  And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

PEACE, Best Achieved Alongside of Justice

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Monday, February 29, 2016

IMG_0178

PEACE, Best Achieved Alongside of Justice

As I continue to ask people for their personal definition of PEACE, I am intrigued by the ones who have to think hard about the word or phrase they choose. Sometimes, taking a good deal of time for the answer. I am equally interested in the ones who immediately know what their definition is going to be.

Continuing the listening tour. I am traveling around in my efforts to pursue PEACE.

My friend and colleague from St. John’s Lutheran Church, Rev. Joe McInnis, invited me to attend the church he pastors, in Wilmette, Illinois. One of his parishioners knew immediately what his personal definition was, and he told me so!

An older man of definite ideas and opinions, his name is Peter Knobel. He told me PEACE is best achieved alongside of justice.

I told him how deep that point of view was! I asked him to elaborate. He said, “People sometimes associate peace with power and victory. A different vector of peace is alongside of justice. Like in South Africa, where for years they had a reconciliation and peace movement.” Peter considers peace and justice as closely connected. In his view, peace is best achieved using just and equitable means.

Peter’s words inspired me to think deeply. Yes, peace is an important concept. Yet, peace is out of reach for many people, throughout the world, especially in places of dissension, fighting and outright warfare. When Peter mentioned South Africa, I remembered several personal accounts I both read and heard of the troubles in South Africa.

Many people did not experience peace. Many people had horrible things happen to them, to their relatives and comrades, and to their homes and all they held dear. We cannot just wallpaper over those horrible, gut-wrenching, intensely agonizing events.

Yes, hurting people hurt people. Yes, hurting people need to be offered the place and the space to express that hurt, that pain, that anguish, that anger. And, yes. Hurting people can travel through their pain, through the muck and the mire, and come out the other side. Hurting people can journey the path of victim—through the possibility of justice, and out on the other side. They can identify as survivors. Finally—they can start that journey towards peace. Peacefulness. In large part, because of justice.

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

Pursue PEACE – PEACE = Holiness

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Friday, February 12, 2016

IMG_0135

Pursue PEACE – PEACE = Holiness

Intriguing thought! Peace equals holiness. I had to step back and think about this particular definition for a bit. Let it penetrate my mind and heart.

The name of the person I talked to? Chuck. Also known as Dr. Charles L. Reid III, Chuck’s personal definition of peace: PEACE = Holiness.

Chuck did not waste any time in coming up with his personal definition. He knew. He was sure. He is the pastor of the Bethesda Worship Center in Des Plaines. His definition came straight from the New Testament, from Hebrews 12:14. “Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.” (NIV)

As I mentioned, I was quite intrigued by this definition. I asked Pastor Chuck to explain further. He said, “From what is given in Scripture as a guide for living, holiness should be an objective for our lives.  Therefore, PEACE = Holiness was what came to my mind when asked about peace.  The pursuit of peace and reconciliation reflects Christ’s ministry of bringing peace and reconciliation.  When holiness abides within, PEACE will live also.

Yes, I do agree. Excellent concept. Truly a worthwhile objective to strive for.

As for a moral compass and guide to living, Scripture is certainly a time-tested compass. Thank you, Pastor Chuck. I appreciate you and your example of pursuing peace and reconciliation, with holiness a big part in your life.

Let’s pray. Dear Lord, gracious God, thank You for this thought-provoking definition of PEACE. Allow it to work into all of our hearts and take root. Thank You for Pastor Chuck, his wife Barbara, and all of the congregation at Bethesda Worship Center. Help each of them to live at peace with their fellows. Dear Lord, striving to be holy is a large part of walking with You. Help Your works and Your words to accomplish Your purposes. Especially Your wish to have all people live in PEACE. Thank You, God!

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

In Wonder at the Bishop’s Prayer

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Tuesday, October 6, 2015

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In Wonder at the Bishop’s Prayer

I love the written word. I love reading books and writings written centuries ago. Alas, I’m afraid I am less than learned, since I only know English (and modern English, at that). Thankfully for me, many of the books, texts and other writings from centuries long ago have been translated into modern English.

Why did this come up? Today’s prayer is about Blessing and Thanksgiving. The prayer I chose for today from The Oxford Book of Prayer concerns ““Hallowed be Thy Name” (Prayer 172, page 64) [1] And, this selection is one of the oldest I’ve come across yet. It’s from the Christian prayer “Bishop Serapion’s Prayer of Oblation,” dated from the 4th century.

I could talk about the background I found out concerning this bishop of Thmuis in lower Egypt, how he was a friend of St. Athanasius, and how he wrote (or, edited) a Prayer Book, or Sacramentarium. (All of which I found fascinating!) However—I want to dive straight into the prayer of Oblation.

Dear “Father of Jesus Christ,” how awe-inspiring to refer to You as “uncreated, unsearchable, ineffable.” These words make me want to hide my face the way Isaiah did in Isaiah 6. (Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of Hosts.)

Dear Lord Jesus, “Only Son,” you “proclaim and explain” Your Heavenly Father to us “created beings.”

Oh, yes. I know that I am only Your creation; I know that full well! And, what is the most earth-shaking thing of all? You “seek reconciliation with all men and draw them all to You by sending Your dear Son to visit them.”

Good God. How on earth am I ever to respond to such a gracious and merciful act? Such a loving and generous gift? Dear Lord, You sent Your dear Son to earth—to us—to visit us. Why? To “seek reconciliation.” To draw us from afar, to heal the pain and separation.

Such knowledge is almost too much for me . . . All I can say is “thank You.” And, praise to Your name. Amen, Lord. Amen.

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

[1] The Oxford Book of Prayer, edited by George Appleton. (New York: Oxford University Press, reissued 2009), 64.