“For the sun and the dawn, which we did not create; for the moon and the evening, which we did not make; for food which we plant but cannot grow; for friends and loved ones we have not earned and cannot buy; for this gathered company, which welcomes us as we are from wherever we have come; for all our free churches that keep us human and encourage us in our quest for beauty, truth, and love; for all things which come to us as gifts of being from sources beyond ourselves, gifts of life and love and friendship: we lift up our hearts in thanks this day.” (Richard Fewkes, SLT #515)Dear Grace – all gifts we do not earn or deserve,
Our hearts and thoughts are with the people of France, where at least 127 are dead and hundreds injured after a coordinated series of attacks Friday night. We know that evil dwells in every human heart, and we pray for peace, for wisdom to find ways to end the despair that is the root of the despicable, and for the courage to commit to building a world of liberté, egalité, and fraternité for all.
This week we remembered armistice day, the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, 97 years ago. The price of peace is vigilant attention to justice. Let our hearts be ready to pay the ongoing price for armistice – now, at our own 11th hour.
We remember and prayerfully recommit to helping to end such tragedies as:
- suicide bombs in Beirut – and elsewhere;
- genocide in Burundi – and elsewhere;
- arduous, dangerous, and often fatal journeys for refugees from Syria – and elsewhere;
- torture in China – and elsewhere;
- female genital mutilation in Kenya – and elsewhere;
We know that we have grounds for hope.
- We celebrate the end of the Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone.
- We celebrate the free elections in Myanmar, and the peaceful transfer of power from the military junta, showing us that peace and democracy can, at last, prevail.
- While we are saddened at racial hatred manifesting at the University of Missouri, we celebrate the empowerment of black athletes to effect change.