Sunday, March 2, 2014
CNN News: Ukraine Protestors
A Prayer to Nourish Us Here and Now
Matthew records the words Jesus speaks to those who gather round him when he describes the kingdom of God in the Beatitudes, the new Law of Love that supersedes the law of the Torah and Moses. We have spent much time this week reflecting on the Interior Law placed within each of us at our inception. This law flourishes in faith, grows in hope and acts in love. And so we pray, we look for strength as we build God’s kingdom.
BBC News: South Sudan in Crisis
You have heard it said, an eye for eye and a tooth for a tooth. But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil.
Around the planet the peoples of the world constantly look for answers to difficult questions; they consistently yearn for security and peace; they continually hunger for the words that Jesus speaks in his Sermon on the Mount. And so we pray, we look for courage as we build God’s kingdom.
When someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other one as well.
In Ukraine the people struggle to find leadership that is free of corruption. And so we pray, we look for integrity as we build God’s kingdom.
If anyone wants to go to law with you over your tunic, hand over your cloak as well.
In South Sudan the people struggle to live a life without fear. And so we pray, we look for justice as we build God’s kingdom.
Reuters: Thai Protestors Target Ministries and Threaten Stock Exchange
Should anyone press you into service for one mile, go for two.
In Thailand the people fight over who will bring them into the light. And so we pray, we look for truth as we build God’s kingdom.
Give to the one who asks of you, and do not turn your back on the one who wants to borrow.
In Venezuela the people fight over how they will share the power of leadership. And so we pray, we look for peace as we build God’s kingdom.
You have heard it said, you shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.
Swiss Broadcasting: Activists Injured by Gunshots
In West Virginia, USA the people ask for answers to dark questions. And so we pray, we look for compassion as we build God’s kingdom.
If you love those who love you, what recompense will you have?
In our own home town the people ask for honesty and justice. And so we pray, we look for love as we build God’s kingdom.
We are not much different from those people who listened to Jesus two thousand years ago; we too, hunger for security, healing, truth, forgiveness and redemption.
Be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect. And so we pray, we look for endurance as we build God’s kingdom.
National Geographic News: West Virginia’s Chemical Valley
The perfection God asks of us lies not in our living a life without mishap; rather, it lies in our persistence to return to the Law of Love no matter how far we stray. The kingdom Jesus describes is not in some distant future when all God’s children have suddenly seen and corrected the errors in their lives. The kingdom of God is here and it is now. God’s forgiveness and mercy are here and now. God’s healing and presence are here and now. God’s compassion and love are here and now. Let us take strength from the one who created us, take heart from the one who accompanies us, and peace from the one who dwells within us. Amen.
To learn more about the stories shared in this prayer, click on the images above or go to: http://www.cnn.com/2013/12/17/world/europe/ukraine-protests/, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-25677297, http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/01/14/us-thailand-protest-idUSBREA0B03C20140114, http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/news/international/Activists_say_five_Venezuela_protesters_injured_by_gunshots.html?cid=37945644, http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/01/140116-chemical-valley-west-virginia-chemical-spill-coal/
For another Noontime reflection on these verses, see the June 20, 2013 Vengeance post at: http://thenoontimes.com/2013/06/20/vengeance/