by Christine Sine
I am sick to my soul as I read the news about racist violence in Charlottesville, Va. I am sick to my soul as I read about violence in Venezuela and Syria. I am sick to my soul with the continuing plight of refugees and immigrants. And I am sick to my soul as I read about the growing tensions between North Korea and the U.S. Will the violence ever end we wonder? Will peace ever come to our earth we wonder? The health, wholeness and shalom of God’s promises seem so far away and even our prayers feel inadequate.
Today as I read through our Episcopal liturgy I felt hope however and wanted to share these words from an alternative communion liturgy with you. This is what Christ is about. This is what Christianity is about. And this is what the shalom of God looks like and this is what God wants our lives to be committed to. Unfortunately I do not know where this comes from and our rector didn’t either:
Holy One, we gather this day as one people, members of the same body, grateful for your many gifts and carrying the hope within us for a world filled with love. This vision was given by you, from the very beginning of your creation.
You made the earth, and all that lives on it. You inspired prophets and shepherds, widows and slaves, to seek liberation from all that oppresses, so that we might be released to love fully. You became incarnate in Jesus Christ, so that through him we might experience the depth and width of your unquenchable love.
While Jesus lived among us he stood up for women and children, he touched the untouchable, healed the sick, and welcomed those who had given up hope of being included. Through him we see a path not only to our own freedom, but a path to the liberation of the whole world. He taught us that it will not be in the brutality of violence that our world will be saved.
Rather, it will be in showing kindness to our neighbour, in standing up against injustice, in returning hate with love, in transforming one heart at a time. It will be in the simple but holy task of dining together, sharing bread and wine, truly seeing one another as beloved by you.
Another great resource is this litany from Fran Pratt. It was written specifically for Charlottesville.
What is Your Response.
Read through these words several times. What stands out for you? How is God prompting you to respond to stand against the violence in our world?