Thursday, May 5, 2011
National Day of Prayer...couldn't have come at a better time...
This isn't my typical blog post - it's actually a letter that I sent out to members of my congregation today...my heart has been heavy as we've been through a rough week together, so I thought I would share...peace...
"Joy finds its fullest and deepest expression not over a human death but in God’s promise to unite all things in heaven and on earth, to reconcile the human family and to bring God’s reign of peace."
Presiding Bishop of the ELCA, Mark Hanson
Dear members & friends of Christ the King -
This week has been one of varied emotions for all of us. The events of this week have left some feeling relieved, joyful or victorious while others were left feeling heavy-hearted, fearful or disillusioned. Perhaps you felt a combination of all of these. In any case, emotions and spirits were running high this week and I believe that Bp Hanson's words were a powerful message of hope and security for a darkened world.
Regardless of how you feel about the events of this week, your emotions are justified; they are your own and are to be respected. Each opinion and feeling is as unique as the person who owns it. As Christians, however, we can come together around the sure and certain promise of God to reconcile the entire human family to Himself and bring an everlasting peace to all. We have the awesome responsibility and opportunity to enact that now.
Today marks the 236th National Day of Prayer since the first one was called in 1775 by the Continental Congress. Since then, throughout the years, there have been prayer rallies, marked days of prayer and assemblies. 2003 marked the beginning of the organized, national activities we see today. I urge you this day, on this National Day of Prayer, to take time out of your schedule to pray. Pray for those who lost their lives due to acts of violence or hatred. Pray for all those who have lost loved ones. Pray for the church that we may be a beacon of hope in a dark world. Pray for all military members and their families that they might be filled with God's spirit of justice and peace. Pray for our community that we may shun violence and hatred. Pray for our world that love would overcome hate. And, finally, pray for those who would seek to hurt and destroy out of hatred and vengeance.
Praying for our enemies is one of the hardest things we can do - yet one of the most effective. For Jesus commands in Matthew 5 Love your enemies...pray for those who persecute you....Praying for miracles, for God's action in our lives or the lives of others is not fruitless, for only God is powerful enough to make change like that happen.
Grace & Peace to you, my friends.