Our prayer walk yesterday came about because we wanted to respond to the violence in our community. It was only after planning the event that I realized it was the International Day of Peace. We began our prayer walk at the church building and made several stops along the way to pray. We sat together in a backyard and prayed together. We read Scripture together. We sang together. We ended the prayer walk where there was a recent murder. It was here the words below were said and prayed. May they come true! Peace is found in the deep and abiding love of Jesus Christ!
We face today in our nations, in our homes, and in ourselves a spiritual poverty that encourages violence and rebellion against each other. In the Bible story of two brothers, Cain and Abel, Cain murdered Abel, and the blood of his brother cried out to God from the ground. Cain proclaimed against God, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” Cain denied his responsibility- his actions as they grieved the Lord. We proclaim today- not to sweep under the rug the death and violence in our midst and to hope it goes away. Nor do we shrink back in fear and let our nightmares overcome us. Neither do we seek to strike back with a vengeance of our own. We are here to proclaim Jesus as Lord. He is the Prince of Peace. We are here to proclaim his reign. We pray that he would be proclaimed in our neighborhood. We pray for the families devastated by violence and unnecessary tragedy. We pray that respect would be held for law enforcement and that our officers would be just and fair. We pray that all will know, we are indeed our brother’s keepers and we have a responsibility to watch out for one another. We pray that his love will penetrate the darkest corners and his light will shine in every heart, in every home, and indeed in our nation today. Only then will there be peace.
As the blood spilled in violence and injustice defiles our land, so we anoint this land for God’s purpose and his will. We proclaim God’s victory even in this. We grieve but we also rejoice in the peace Jesus gives us.
The land is anointed.
(Let us remember that love compelled Christ Jesus to give his blood for us and by his wounds we are healed.