We reclaim the power of nonviolent love
Submitted by Rev. Jessica Hawkinson
When Israel went out from Egypt,
the house of Jacob from a people of strange language,
Judah became God’s sanctuary,
Israel his dominion.
The sea looked and fled;
Jordan turned back.
The mountains skipped like rams,
the hills like lambs.
Why is it, O sea, that you flee?
O Jordan, that you turn back?
O mountains, that you skip like rams?
O hills, like lambs?
Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the Lord,
at the presence of the God of Jacob,
who turns the rock into a pool of water,
the flint into a spring of water.
Reflection: The third peacemaking affirmation declares: “We follow Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace and Reconciler, and reclaim the power of nonviolent love evident in his life and teaching, his healings and reversals of evil, his cross and resurrection.” What wondrous love is this, that finds transformation in nonviolence and healing in the face of evil? The example of Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace, calls us to reclaim the power of nonviolent love as a continuation of God’s miraculous work in the world. The very One who turns the rock into a pool of water is transforming hearts of stone. The very One who turns flint into a spring of water is at work for justice and righteousness in our communities. Evil is overcome in release from Egypt, and all creation rejoices at the presence of the Lord who reigns with love in our midst.
Action: Use the Psalms and the stories of Jesus’ life and teaching as resources for a service of lament, healing, and rejoicing in your community.
Prayer: God of all creation, you are the great Reconcilier who overcame the world’s darkness with resurrection light. Make us part of your cosmic story of nonviolent love and hope. Amen.
Jessica Hawkinson is Associate Chaplain and Director of the Lux Summer Theological Institute for Youth at Monmouth College, Monmouth, Illinois. She previously served for two years at the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations and as a member of the PCUSA Peace Discernment steering team. She is a graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary (M. Div) and Macalester College.
This year’s Path of Peace reflections are based on the Five Affirmations to Guide the Peacemaking Witness of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Writers were recruited to help us explore the following affirmations as each week of A Season of Peace unfolds:
- Peacemaking is essential to our faith.
- We have sinned by participating in acts of violence.
- We reclaim the power of nonviolent love.
- We commit to the study and practice of nonviolence.
- We will practice boldly the things that make for peace.
Each author writes Monday–Friday, beginning with the first affirmation and ending with the fifth. The authors represent a variety of vocations and experiences in peacemaking efforts, and each week presents a new ‘voice’ to walk you through the affirmations. The weekend devotions, written by the editor, also reflect the five affirmations. Individuals and households are invited to make use of these daily reflections beginning on Sunday, September 3, and concluding on World Communion Sunday, October 1.