Daily Bread Nov. 17

Beyond Prayers
By Lu Mountenay of Independence, MO, USA

Above all else, strive to be faithful to Christ’s vision of the peaceable Kingdom of God on earth. Courageously challenge cultural, political, and religious trends that are contrary to the reconciling and restoring purposes of God. Pursue peace. —Doctrine and Covenants 163:3b

At the 2016 annual meeting of PeaceWorks-Kansas City, we had time for table talk in small groups on the subject of racism. I made new friends of Lewis Diuguid and Bette Beaver who were at my table. As African Americans, they taught me from their first-hand experience about misconceptions of racism. They gently led me to explore and realize the extent of my “white privilege.”

It pleased me to learn Lewis had written a book about the subject, Discovering the Real America. It includes research about media bias and racial justice (and a broad spectrum of injustice and oppression), articles from his column in the Kansas City Star, responses to those articles, and ways we can embrace diversity. Here is one of his poems:

Beyond Prayers
Prayer vigils follow each human tragedy
with bowing of faithful heads and clasping of hands
Hard work follows, and forever demands
the community work together
for justice and peace

Each person has a role to play
Change comes when no one sleeps,
stays unattached or uninvolved,
out of harm’s way—
or waits for someone else
to be a King* or hero to save the day

Only need, desperate need
insists on everyone’s commitment
Without it we slip into desperate abyss
dragged down by
finger-pointing resentment.

*Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

—Lewis W. Diuguid
(From Discovering the Real America, Lewis W. Diuguid, ©2007 Brown Walker Press)

Prayer for Peace

Compassionate God, we sense your love for everyone. We are aware of the sacred worth of each person. We weep with you over the soul-wounding forces and hate-filled tragedies that rob people of dignity and worth. We pray as a community that we notice, protect, heal, and affirm the spiritual identity of all your people in our pursuit of peace.

Spiritual Practice

Meditate on Unity in Diversity. Create a large circle with your arms. See and feel the diverse people God invites inside the sanctuary of Christ’s peace represented by this circle. Who is easiest to welcome? Whom do you struggle to include? Confess the dividing walls between you and people too different or “challenging” to invite into your spiritual home. Ask God to forgive and heal barriers that keep us from loving one another.

Peace Covenant

Today, God, “My mission is to comfort the distressed and distress the comfortable.” —Maria Guarjardo

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