Dear friends at St. Stephen’s UMC!
As the war continues on in Gaza and in the Ukraine, it is sometimes easy to be called to pick a side in any situation of conflict. Pressured by cultural or political allegiances, we can easily get caught up arguing for one side over another, in the ideologies and philosophies of differing factions. But in the midst of all this we sometimes lose sight that as followers of Christ we are called not to pick sides but to stand in the middle of conflict, offering comfort and compassion to all. We forget that in the midst of political conflict, terrorism and fights for liberation, the greatest tragedy is the devastation that war brings upon the most innocent victims, those who in their daily struggle seek merely to survive and to live in peace with one another. So today I want to remind us all that the apostle Paul challenged us in his letter to the Romans, “If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” And I wanted to share this prayer that I found from Sanwai Dani:
Two peoples, one land,
Three faiths, one root,
One earth, one mother,
One sky, one beginning, one future, one destiny,
One broken heart,
We pray to you:
Grant us vision of unity.
May we see the many in the one and the one in the many.
May you, Life of All the Worlds,
Source of All Amazing Differences
Help us to see clearly.
Guide us gently and firmly toward each other,
Toward peace. Amen.