With all the noise in the world, do you hear the voice of God? Your calendar tells you what to do, but do you remember who you are? Being comes before doing. This is a call to put first things first. Return to the Lord with this daily pattern of prayer and devotion. Set aside this time as a sanctuary. Find a space free of distraction and follow this pattern.
Make the sign of the cross, and say,
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” (Matt. 5:8) O Lord, you see all things. Purify my heart that I may see you clearly. Amen.
Word: Ephesians 2:13-16
But now in Christ Jesus you who were once far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.
Last week my son showed me a Calvin and Hobbes cartoon. In the opening frame of the, Calvin is seen wearing an army helmet and Hobbes is armed with a toy pistol. You can probably guess what is about to happen. But before the shooting starts, Hobbes poses one of his charestically deep questions … “How come we play war and not peace?” To which Calvin bluntly replies “Too few role models.”
It’s a sad commentary, but a true one. History elevates the mighty. The conquerors. Might makes right, as the saying goes. But those who seek peace through peaceable means? They are largely forgotten.
Which is what makes Jesus so extraordinary. Jesus forged a lasting peace between God and man not through a celebrated victory, but through an apparent defeat. Not by means of a throne, but by means of a cross. And not only through an extraordinary life, but by an even more extraordinary death. Jesus is more than just a role model. Jesus himself is our peace.
Prayer for the World
· For my city, state, and country.
· For leaders: mayor, governor, president, congress.
· For those who serve the public: police officers, firefighters, teachers, first responders, medical personnel.
· For the nations of the world, for world leaders.
· For good government, good schools, good business.
· For justice, especially for the oppressed: minorities, immigrants and refugees, orphans, widows, the very young or unborn, the aged.
· For creation: for the care of land, air, wildlife, and sea.
Heavenly Father, I pray for the peace that only you can establish. Raise up leaders who will govern with integrity and justice and self-sacrifice. Make me a model of peace in the pattern of Jesus. In Jesus’s name, amen.