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May 23

Psalm 145, 13-16

Something to read

The LORD is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does. The LORD upholds all who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down. The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time. You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.

Something to think about

Peace to the people. Political peace, the peace that is, yes, the absence of war but also the instituting of justice for everyone. Psalm 145 describes what this peace that is justice looks like: it is always trustworthy, in all it promises, faithful in all tasks, it sustains those who have suffered affliction and are in despair, helping them towards healing and recovery.

It is respected by everyone, disciplined and structured and utterly reliable. It gives enough to everyone so no one feels hard done by. This is just peace.

Its absence often leads to conflict between people in families, communities, between generations, cities, regions, nations.

It may begin with a grudge against those earning more, or eating more, or with longer holidays or who have not suffered the same misfortune - and then the source of conflict just eats away and what has been termed the ‘spiral of violence’ can begin, leading into despair, violence or death.

For our God of Psalm 145 and for the Jesus of the Gospels, this is not how it needs to be. Life lived abundantly and in abundance is a life of just peace and a commitment to work to care for the broken hearted, to protect the vulnerable, to speak truth to power and to work always to see everyone as neighbour and member of my own community.

And with these characteristics of just peace comes the possibility of forgiveness, reconciliation and love for our very enemies as the ultimate expression of the open-handed love that is our God.

Something to do

Look at the World Council of Churches' resources page to find prayers and other resources about peace http://www.oikoumene.org/en/resources

Something to pray

May you know peace,
May you know you are not alone.
May there be mercy and forgiveness.

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


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