In the sermon and GPS guide this week, we will be “wrestling” with some of the violence found in the Bible, and looking at how the true character of God is revealed to us through Jesus. Violence is hard to experience, even on the pages of the Bible. Sometimes the world around us seems so violent that it resembles the Biblical stories of war, murder, hate and chaos. God calls us to pray for our world, and even more, to pray for our role in bringing the Peace of Christ to the world where we live.
Author and novelist Maxine Hong Kingston wrote this in The Fifth Book of Peace:
Children, everybody, here’s what to do during war:
In a time of destruction, create something.
A moral principle.
One peaceful moment.
St. Francis of Assisi wrote this prayer asking God to help us do just what Ms. Kingston is speaking about:
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
As we “wrestle” and learn about the violence in the Bible, and with the violence in the world around us, let’s make this our prayer this week.