September 3, 2017
In a speech celebrating the 1979 peace treaty between Israel and Egypt, former President Jimmy Carter said, “Peace, like war, is waged.” These words were a thoughtful turn-of-phrase and a challenging declaration spoken at an auspicious moment. However, they did not originate with Carter or his speechwriters. They came from the pen of Carter’s fellow Georgian Walker Knight, a Christian journalist, poet and peacemaker. Since Carter uttered these words, they have turned up in various places where peace is promoted. For example, actor George Clooney repeated the phrase in a statement praising the work of United Nations peacekeepers.
The quote reminds us that intentionality is essential to achieving peace. Peacemaking is an act of discipleship that is rooted in Christ’s calling, but the loud and divisive voices in our culture are making faithfulness to this gospel imperative more and more difficult. Amid this backdrop, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s 222nd General Assembly (2016) approved “Five Peacemaking Affirmations” that can guide us on the peacemaking journey. These affirmations invite us to commit to the gospel of peace, confess our complicity, reclaim Christ as peacemaker, practice new peace strategies, and transform our structures and work for peace.
The PC(USA)’s A Season of Peace offers a time to reflect on these affirmations and equip ourselves for the ministry of peacemaking. The Presbyterian Peacemaking Program offers resources for this season to expand your focus and calling as a peacemaker. The four-week pilgrimage begins tomorrow and culminates on Oct. 1, World Communion Sunday, when the Peace & Global Witness Offering is received.
Wherever you find yourself on the peacemaking journey, A Season of Peace presents an opportunity to engage in more faithful living. The Peacemaking Program describes it this way: “It is for the curious and the jaded, the beginner and the experienced peace seeker. Spend a new season with Jesus, the peacemaker, and see if this might become your way of being authentically Christian in the world.”
Pat Cole, Communications Specialist, Presbyterian Mission Agency
Today’s Focus: Season of Peace
Let us join in prayer for:
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Let us pray:
Holy God, guide us on a journey that fills our entire being with the peace of Christ. May our thoughts, words and deeds follow a path that brings peace in our hearts, our families, our communities and our world. Amen.
Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, September 3, 2017, the Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)