Prayer

Day 4: Overcoming Violence

Starting Point

Christian discipleship lived out in the world cannot avoid the reality of violence. Most religions declare themselves to be peaceful and against violence. However, churches, called into unity and called to be part of God’s mission in the world, are also called to discern the Gospel of hope. This is a Gospel that can be proclaimed to those who live with the consequences of gang warfare, domestic violence or the fear of violence.

Readings

Isaiah 9.2-7a His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace
Psalm 34.1-14 Seek peace, and pursue it
Revelation 7.13-17 God will wipe away every tear from their eyes
John 14.25-27 Peace I leave with you

Prayer

Reconciling God,
Christ’s nail-pierced hands
Are your intent from eternity
You call us to be signs of peace
In the midst of violence,
The embodiment of hope
In the midst of despair.
May Christ so live in us
That we might spend and be spent
In his ministry of reconciliation.
Amen.

Reflection

In our beautiful (is)land
violence breeds violence;
(‘an eye for an eye…’)
and abuse, murder, rape,
(‘limb from limb….’)
become a way of life
as teenage bodies are ravaged beyond repair,
neighbourhoods are gang-violated,
and lives abused –
domestically
(‘heads dashed against rock’?)

We see.
We know,
and we wail: “For the love of God. In the name of Jesus. Stop.”
The hand of God stretches into the pain saying:
‘I bring comfort, justice, righteousness,’
and we remember that
veiled by the violence;
obscured by our walled communities,
beneath the facade of this island-idyll
lie true all-inclusive packages of
beauty
seen and known
by our God of hope.

Each single sacramental life,
precious beyond measure,
is made whole
in the healing
hand of God.

We believe that
in the paradise-heaven
as close to us as the waves
lapping our golden shores
there is
no hunger
no thirst
no torching of lives
or scorching of earth.
Here our tears are wiped away.
Springs of living water
revive our worn-out bodies,
our weary earth.

Question

  1. Have you felt threatened in a place where you previously felt safe?
  2. In what ways are you concerned about increasing violence in your area and in society?
  3. What is the message of hope that Christians can bring in a world troubled by violence?