A Reflection on Peace and Hope
Prelude – Song of Peace
Reader: We gather in the name of the Father
All: GOD AND CREATOR- THE ONE WHO LOVES US AND CALLS US INTO BEING. THE ONE WHOSE GLORY IS REFLECTED IN A HUMAN BEING FULLY ALIVE.
Reader: We gather in the name of the Son
All: SAVIOR AND LORD, DIVINE HEALER: WHOSE POWER CONFRONTED EVIL AND WHOSE TOUCH BROUGHT PEACE.
Reader: We gather in the name of the Spirit
All: HOLY AND POWERFUL- GATHERING ALL INTO HEALING IN THE SHADOW OF THE SPIRIT’S WINGS; BREATH OF GOD – FIRE OF GOD’S LOVE, DRAWING US INTO WHOLENESS INTO THE HEART AND LIFE OF THE TRINITY.
Song Is He Worthy?
Words of Encouragement from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
“The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence, you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate. So it goes. Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: Only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: Only love can do that.”
Reading Luke 8: 22-25
One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side of the lake.” So they got into a
boat and set out. As they sailed, he fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was
being swamped, and they were in great danger.
The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!”
He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm.
“Where is your faith?” he asked his disciples.
Reading 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor
others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not
delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
(Silence for Reflection)
Words of Encouragement The Human Family – Dr. Maya Angelou
I note the obvious differences in the human family. Some of us are serious, some thrive on comedy. Some declare their lives are lived as true profundity, and others claim they really live the real reality. The variety of our skin tones can confuse, bemuse, delight, brown and pink and beige and purple, tan and blue and white. I’ve sailed upon the seven seas and stopped in every land, I’ve seen the wonders of the world not yet one common man. I know ten thousand women called Jane and Mary Jane, but I’ve not seen any two who really were the same. Mirror twins are different although their features jibe, and lovers think quite different thoughts while lying side by side. We love and lose in China, we weep on England’s moors, and laugh and moan in Guinea, and thrive on Spanish shores. We seek success in Finland, are born and die in Maine. In minor ways we differ, in major we’re the same.
I note the obvious differences between each sort and type, but we are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike. We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike. We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike.
(Silence for Reflection)
Song I Will Rise
A quote from Thomas A. Kempis: “Be at peace with yourself first, and then you will be able to bring peace to others.”
In order to have peace in the world, we must start with being at peace with ourselves. How does one do this? How do we keep our head on our shoulders when the world deems to be crumbling around us? How do we stay calm in the midst of senseless violence? Each person must find their own way, but I believe the beginning point has to be with the understanding of God’s presence in our midst regardless of what life gives us. It is God’s presence with us that gives us the strength to be able to be at peace.
It is God’s peace within us that stifles the desire to hate the perpetrator, and instead pray for him. It is God’s peace within us that recognizes that the actions of a single person or small group of persons does not define their race, religion, gender, occupation, or any other larger group of people. It is God’s peace within us that keeps us from taking the words of others and twisting them into fuel to feed into hatred. It is God’s peace within us that allows us to see the tremendous outpouring of love in response to the violence. It is God’s peace within us that allows us to respond with kindness, support and caring.
This is the peace that God gives us through this blessing:
The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.
Reader: Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth – and I heard a voice from the throne saying:
All: SEE, THE HOME OF GOD IS AMONG MORTALS. HE WILL DWELL WITH THEM AS THEIR GOD; THEY WILL BE HIS PEOPLES, AND GOD HIMSELF WILL BE WITH THEM; HE WILL WIPE EVERY TEAR FROM THEIR EYES. DEATH WILL BE NO MORE; MOURNING AND CRYING AND PAIN WILL BE NO MORE.
Reader: And the one who was seated on the throne said:
All: SEE, I AM MAKING ALL THINGS NEW.
Reader: And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine in it for the glory of God is its light and its lamp is the Lamb.
All: THE NATIONS WILL WALK BY ITS LIGHT; PEOPLE WILL BRING INTO IT THE GLORY AND THE HONOR OF THE NATIONS.
Reader: And at its heart, planted by the river that runs through paradise is the tree of life.
All: AND THE TREE SHALL BEAR ITS FRUIT EACH MONTH AND THE LEAVES OF THAT TREE WILL BE FOR THE HEALING OF THE NATIONS.
Reader: And may God bless us
All: THE FATHER, THE SON AND THE HOLY SPIRIT.
Reader: And until we meet again
All: MAY GOD HOLD US IN THE PALM OF HIS HAND.
Closing Song Overcome