Fourth Sunday

Practice: Lectio Divina

by Rev. Aune Carlson

1 Samuel 16:1-13 🌿 Psalms 23 🌿 Ephesians 5:8-14 🌿 John 9:1-41

Lectio Divina:

  • Select a Scripture passage to reflect on
  • Read the passage, preferably out loud, two or three times
  • Meditate on a word or phrase that stood out to you as you read; Perhaps it caused you to ask a question or wonder about something.
  • Respond to God who has been speaking to you
  • Settle yourself and rest in the presence of God as you prepare to go about the remainder of your day.

It can be a very enlightening experience to engage in this practice with others, as no two people will have exactly the same experience or insights from their time reflecting on the same scripture passage.

– Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon, originally written for 2019 Lent series.

What does it mean to pursue peace with justice? And how might we advocate for justice in ways that do not further perpetuate violence and harm, while also not compromising on the manifestation of human rights and equality?

Peace and justice are inextricably linked. Sometimes peace is defined as lack of war, or when harmony exists among people and people groups. However, President Ronald Reagan once said, “Peace is more than just the absence of war. True peace is justice, true peace is freedom, and true peace dictates the recognition of human rights.” Justice can be defined by what is true, right, good, and fair. I wrote in Social Justice Handbook: Small Steps for a Better World about how justice is the way God intended for the world to be. When complete justice is manifested, we are in right relationship with God, with our neighbors, and with our enemies. Peace and justice are fundamentally linked. If we truly want war and conflicts to end, we must advocate for the manifestation of justice through the application of human rights, dignity, and equality for all people. If we truly want justice, and for wrongs to be made right, we must also pray and advocate for peace. Many Israeli and Palestinian nonviolent peace activists play the role of being courageous advocates for peace with justice. Let us encourage their efforts and lift them up in prayer this Lenten season.

Join me and Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) as we work for justice and pray for the realization of God’s perfect peace.

Prince of Peace, God of shalom and salaam. God of justice. As the valley of the shadow of death so often threatens to steal our peace, we cry out for the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians to end. We hold onto a persistent hope that peace is possible and justice will one day prevail. We ask that your perfect peace would be realized and that justice and equality would be a marker of the future for Palestinians, Israelis, and all people in the Middle East. We pray in the name of Christ. Amen.

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