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Peace – A Reflection

February 9, 2020

Today was a full day for us beginning with Worship and a Congregational meeting. After some time at home, we headed down the mountain to spend some time with our dear friends Nadine and Erin. The music and conversation were wonderful. As stories were shared by the various songwriters about life and the world, there was much to think about.

What began this morning with my sermon about the sort of fast the Lord calls us to, became another opportunity to reflect. This morning I said this is the fast God wants… a fast from division… a fast from fear… a fast from hatred… then we shall be, in the words of Isaiah, Repairers of the breach.

How can we become repairers of the breach in a world that is so divided? How do we become, in the words of Saint Francis of Assisi, Instruments of God’s Peace. Songs were sung this afternoon supporting Immigrants and our neighbors on the Southern border. These songs gave me pause for thought and reflection.

I have been reading from Merton again today. In the section of Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander that I read today, Merton talked quite a bit about non-violence and the need for humankind to strive to operate without hatred, without hostility, and without resentment. (p. 81) I believe that another part of that is to operate without fear of the other who may (or may not be) different from us.

We must find a way to use all of our gifts for the common good of all humanity. This quote from Merton popped up on my Facebook memories today. I posted it two years ago. Help us to use our science for peace and plenty, not for war and destruction. — Thomas Merton (A Book of Hours, p. 84)

Even though Merton was discussing the nuclear arms race, I believe it applies today both in the continued worship of the war machine and in how we treat others. Instead of building border walls, which truthfully don’t work in the first place, how about building bridges of understanding and mutual cooperation. In that way we might just live together as God’s beloved children without hatred, hostility, resentment, or fear. That is my hope, that is my prayer, that is my heart’s desire.

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