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May 19

Psalm 145, 1-3

Something to read

I will exalt you, my God the King; I will praise your name for ever and ever. Every day I will praise you and extol your name for ever and ever. Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom.

Something to think about

In 2011, the International Ecumenical Peace Convocation celebrated grassroots initiatives and work by the World Council of Churches throughout the Decade to Overcome Violence.

The motto of the convocation was ‘Glory to God and Peace on Earth’ and the opening of the Psalm reminds us so clearly that peace and justice grow out of praise: praise as a daily activity, praise as a ceaseless activity.

Praise is world changing, praise can bring peace and justice, praise can lead to the laying down of weapons and the distribution of wealth in just and equitable ways.

The philosopher Martin Heidegger, in his reflections on the roots of language, noted once that the English word ‘to think’ has the same root as the word ‘to thank’.

Our thinking is also thanking, our thoughts and actions for peace and justice are rooted in thanks and praise for all that is just and all that brings peace.

And when peace and justice come, we find ourselves in the presence of unfathomable greatness, such as those delegates in Jamaica experienced as they listened to stories from around the world of peace being brought to communities torn apart by violence.

Something to do

Consider what you might praise God for today that has brought peace in your community.

It's Christian Aid Week. Visit www.caweek.org for resources, stories and more.

Something to pray

Let me praise you even as I learn to live justly.

Let me praise you with every breath as I remember those who have worked to bring peace to my community, peace of mind, peace of body, peace of spirit, who work to make sure that there is enough for everyone’s need in my neighbourhood, but not for everyone’s greed.

Let me praise you for the clearing of rubbish and feeding of those who are frail and sick, let me praise you for the ground where young people play football and the neighbours who greet me with a smile. 

Today's contributor is Alison Swinfen, a member of the Iona Community


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