Straddling the Divide
Michele McGrath of Gardena, CA, USA
You have heard that it was said, “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” But I say to you, Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also; and if anyone wants to sue you and take your coat, give your cloak as well; and if anyone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile. Give to everyone who begs from you, and do not refuse anyone who wants to borrow from you. You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.” But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. -Matthew 5:38-45
God of the edges,
I confess how much I want to sit safely in the middle.
God of the margins,
forgive me for my need to be in the center of the moment.
God of diversity,
I am sorry for how often I want there to be one simple answer.
I regret how often I have allowed my witness of you to solidify,
and grow cold.
I am sad to think how often I avoid entering the muck and messiness of life for your sake.
I confess my desire for consistency rather than the chaos preceding change.
Spirit of Truth,
forgive me the many times I have spoken reassuringly
rather than prophetically.
God of all seasons,
I repent my constant hurrying to see results.
forgive me for straddling the fence so much of the time.
God of hope,
take another chance on me, on us, on your people.
Let us be your body in this world.
“Led by the Holy Spirit, we work with God and others to restore peace (shalom) to creation” (https://www.cofchrist.org/enduring-principles).
Embodying God’s Shalom
Find a way to express and embody God’s shalom. Begin by prayerfully listening to your longing for peace and wholeness. Become silent and imagine you can hear the groaning of the Earth’s people, nations, and creatures. Prayerfully open yourself to God’s yearning for peace and the divine vision of shalom.
What images, feelings, and words come to you? What prayer for peace comes to you from your time of listening? Speak or write this prayer. What act of justice, kindness, healing, or peacemaking does God invite you to consider this day?
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.