Make Me an Instrument
By Terry Brown of Pigeon, MI, USA
And blessed are all the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God. —3 Nephi 5:56
In 2008, to mark the 30th anniversary of the New International Version (NIV) translation of the Bible, Zondervan and the International Bible Society undertook the Bible across America Project. The plan was to have 31,000 people hand print the Bible over the course of nine months. I had the opportunity to contribute my own handwritten verse to the effort, and I was nervous. I don’t have good handwriting. What if I misspelled something? Would I get a chance for a do-over if I messed up?
“My” passage was the second one in this handwritten Bible—Genesis 1:2. “Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the waters.” As I wrote, I thought of this empty, dark place. Soon darkness would fill with light and the void transformed into a wonder of diverse organisms filled with the complexity of life. God would create a self-imaged humanity, with the task of not only recording the interacting of the creator and the created, but living out this Word of God.
The introduction to the volume encourages the reader to look for the ways God speaks through each handwritten verse: “Perhaps it is a verse about God’s enduring faithfulness written in the shaky penmanship of an older saint, or words of God’s promise precariously written by a young child.”
The Word of God never ends. We translate the good news to the world in the thin lines and broad strokes of each word and action taken. We each fill the pages of life as we chase out the dark voids with God’s life-giving light. We reflect God’s love through what we say and do.
As we are open to the Holy Spirit we find ourselves welcoming, treasuring, and living the Word. By accepting the call of God, we become the living, breathing Word of God—communicating hope, love, joy, and peace to a world desperate to experience Jesus.
Prayer for Peace
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.
O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; it is in dying that we are born again to eternal life.
—Prayer of Saint Francis
Spiritual Practice: Continuing Revelation
One Enduring Principle of Community of Christ is Continuing Revelation. We are a people always “becoming,” always changing as God shapes us. In prayer, listen deeply to the name “Community of Christ.” Write or say a prayer asking God to continue to form us through our name. Listen deeply to what it would mean to live in community, following and sharing the way of Christ.
Today, God, I will experience your peace as I read Holy Scripture.