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.
To read the King James Version, click here
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. This is the focus of the IEPC today and Psalm 145 today also 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 strcutured 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 just begin with a grudge against those earning more, or eating more, or with longer holidays or who just 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 of 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 charateristics of just peace comes the possiblity 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
The songs and prayers contained the IEPC book ‘Imagine Peace’ were written collaboratively at a workshop in Cuba and published under the creative commons license, a fairer way of respecting authorship. Watch the video and consider where you encounter the generosity of artists, writers and musicians. www.oikoumene.org/en/resources/videos/liturgical-resources/glory-to-god-in-the-highest-and-peace-on-earth.html
Something to pray
Use the images from the Living Letters visits to prayer for those pictured and the countries which are struggling to overcome violence. www.overcomingviolence.org/en/news-and-events/photos.html
You may wish, as you consider each country to pray the prayer:
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