The Courage to Risk Something New
Linda Stanbridge of Lexington, MI, USA
I am Alpha and Omega, Christ the Lord; yea, even I am He, the beginning and the end, the Redeemer of the world …. Learn of me, and listen to my words; walk in the meekness of my Spirit, and you shall have peace in me. -Doctrine and Covenants 18:1a, 2n
Last year our family learned the Mission Prayer. We pray each morning before we leave the safety of our home. We pray in unison, circle clockwise, counterclockwise. We even developed a schedule to prevent arguments about who “gets” to go first. To hear the confident voice of a three-year-old praying “grant me the courage to risk something new,” followed by the assured voice of a five-year-old praying, “and become a blessing of your love and peace,” has affected me deeply. Daily, we present ourselves before God, ready to be agents of change for love and peace.
As we’ve prayed the question, “Are we moving toward Jesus, the peaceful One?” it has come alive for me in new ways. Entering this practice has shown me how acts of intentional courage move us all toward the peaceful One. Each day contains an opportunity to move not only myself, but those around me, toward peace.
The greatest blessing this year has come through our children’s acts of justice. Last year our daughter was in a group of peers and adults when the statement was made that girls can only marry boys. Our child told those around her that this wasn’t true. She knew because she has witnessed people and families from across the spectrum of gender identity and sexuality and that God’s love is present and abounds in these families. She reported to us in exasperation that these injustices and aggressions exist, and this provided a powerful opportunity for us to talk as a family about how important her words were in creating justice and peace.
We are constantly presented with opportunities to do justice. When we take a moment to call those around us back into God’s redeeming and reconciling work, we move closer and closer to the peaceful One. Inching slowly perhaps, but always toward justice. Our children’s enthusiasm for the Mission Prayer and for God’s justice has shown me repeatedly that, indeed, a child shall lead them. Justice begins when each of us becomes personally responsible for becoming a blessing of love and peace.
Are we moving toward Jesus, the peaceful One?
Gospel Contemplation (John 3:1-8)
Each week during Lent, you are invited to pray with a different gospel story from the life of Christ. Use your senses and imagination to enter the text. Allow it to come to life in you, observing details, noticing interactions, even engaging in dialogue. Notice where you find yourself in the story and how you feel about what is happening. Notice what it evokes in you or invites of you. Take time to journal or enter silent prayer to reflect on your experience and to sense where the Spirit may be leading you through this scriptural encounter.
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.