Prayer for International Day of Peace 2018 -- Troy, Michigan

Today is the International Day of Peace, an annual event sponsored by the United Nations. I was asked to participate in the local celebration of this day. It was held last evening at the Troy Public Library. In the spirit of peace, I'd like to share that prayer today:

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We have gathered as a community to celebrate the International Day of Peace. We know that peace is elusive. Wars and conflicts are many. Some among us might be refugees from some of these conflicts, and so peace seems even more elusive. While peace seems far away, the call for peace remains strong within us. It is rooted in our faith traditions. So, even when we fail to live in peace, the witness to peace remains with us.

Jesus proclaimed: “Blessed are the Peacemakers for they shall be called children of God.” May we hear this call to become peace-makers in our community, by pursuing justice in our world and by recognizing that our common humanity transcends ethnicity, nationhood, religion.

Peacemaking is relational, which requires us to reach beyond our normal circles and embrace one another as children of God. For, as Henri Nouwen reminds us: “True peacemakers are grateful persons, persons who constantly recognize and celebrate the peace of God within them and among them.”

Therefore, as we go forth from this place, as a community that is diverse in ethnicity, religion, politics, education, sexual orientation, gender:

“May the Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; The Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.” (Numbers 6:24-26).

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