Making peace by ending violence
The hope of a promised land
Let me hear of your steadfast love in the morning, for in you I put my trust.
Teach me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.
Reflection: I recently read an article that told the stories of families attempting to cross the US-Mexico border. The author suggested that pursuit of the ‘American Dream’ was beginning to look more like the ‘American Nightmare.’ As I read Psalm 143, it occurs to me that this prayer for deliverance could easily be found on the lips of a person crossing the U.S. border and reflecting fearfully on whether this journey is worth the danger.
Once, during a difficult time in my own life, I confided in a friend that sometimes I would wake up and just yell at God. My friend wisely reminded me that my anger and lament are prayers, too. There is something so refreshing and relatable about the psalms of lament and other passages of Scripture that communicate the authors’ frustration and exhaustion. Can we give ourselves permission to be honest in our prayers, even when we struggle? How do we continue to seek God’s presence and guidance when what we are experiencing is God’s silence? What might it look like to lift up to God the full extent of our grief and anger concerning what is happening at our nation’s southern border?
Action: As you reflect on the violence along the U.S. border, take time today to identify and learn about the work of organizations addressing immigration issues in your own community. Commit to donate a little of your time or money to this work.
Prayer: God, today we lift up those walking with no clear path forward — people seeking refuge, a new home, and safety. We pray for people who come with their families and those traveling by themselves. We pray for those who know you as Dios, and those who doubt their fate. Let us be the community you have called to welcome the stranger. Let us be your church. Amen
Michelle Muñiz serves as the Disaster Recovery Coordinator for the Presbytery of San Juan (Presbiterio de San Juan) in Puerto Rico. While providing support to their 15 congregations as they recover from hurricanes Irma and María, she also coordinates projects for volunteers serving in the San Juan area through the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA).
This year’s A Season of Peace Resources are designed to help Presbyterians explore different forms and lenses for peacemaking. From the personal level to global issues, these reflections and prayers will help grow the faith and witness of the whole church. Through the 29 days of this year’s Season of Peace, we are invited to reflect upon:
- What does it mean to commit to Peace?
- Making peace by addressing root causes of poverty
- Making peace by disrupting systematic racism
- Making peace by ending violence
- Making peace by supporting refugees and migrants
- Partaking in peace in worship and at table this World Communion Sunday and through the Peace & Global Witness Offering
Each author represents a variety of vocations and experiences in peacemaking efforts. Individuals and households are invited to make use of these daily reflections beginning on Sunday, September 1, and concluding on World Communion Sunday, October 6.