"Honor Diversity because it is a way that God has made us unique."
Ruthmarie Brooks Silver
A LITANY FOR THE REPAIR OF THE WORLD
In Jewish tradition, tikkun olam ("repair of the world") is a conviction that our obedience to God's commandments will advance God's own action in perfecting all of creation. The concept of tikkun olam aligns with Jesus's teaching on the Great Commandment in the Gospels. As Christians live out their obedience to "love the Lord God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength" and to "love the neighbor as self," we too usher in the reign of God and help repair the world.
Rev. Dr. Tammy Wiens
Associate for Christian Formation - National Office of the Presbyterian Church (USA)
Racial Justice Retreat Series I - Joan Crawford
A Reflection for the Feast of Saint Francis
Our world is full of noise and bustle; many of us live in one-hour increments, shuttling to and from activities, interacting more and more with technology and less and less with others. It is difficult to see the mystical meaning in a leaf, make time to go to a mountain trail or look away from our phone to notice the dewdrop.
Called from his life of wealth, privilege, excitement, and parties to one of simplicity, peace, prayer, and connection with the natural world, Saint Francis provides a model for us. As we celebrate and remember Francis’ love of the earth, care for animals, commitment to the poor and sick, let us use today as an invitation to consider how we might make space, as Francis did, for simplicity, peace, prayer, an nature in our lives.
The great spiritual leaders have consistently taught us that peace is an inside job. By cultivating peace in ourselves, we can become instruments of God’s peace in the world.
Oh, God of peace, you who know us before we were formed in our mother's womb, forgive us when we don’t go beyond our intentions and fall short in committing ourselves to concrete actions for peace and justice.
You, who judge our humanity with mercy, forgive us when we allow your image to be disfigured by our being passive in the face of so much violence and exclusion.
O God of love, you who created us for the purpose of being a great family, forgive us for our inability to reconcile with our fellow human beings—both with our love ones and with our enemies. You, who gave us the gift of speech to be an instrument of transformation, forgive us for the times we have spoken hastily, without thinking about the consequences, or when we remained silent out of fear or indifference.
God of life, you have placed us on this Earth to care for and look after its wellbeing. Forgive us when we failed to care for your world, to protect nature, the house you gave us, the home of our ancestors and descendants. Help us promote life and seek peace. Merciful God, accept our confession and forgive us.
Open our eyes to the causes of injustice and conflict. Make us aware of our capacity to bring about change. Amen.
Lord of lords, you want people to live together in peace. We pray for all those who shape world politics, that they may strive for peace to the utmost of their abilities. Show them how they can resolve tensions and prevent new wars.
Help those who carry responsibility to use their power for the benefit of the people, especially the poor and the disadvantaged, and thus for more justice in the world.
Make us long for a peaceful and non-violent world, and let our faith grow in your goodness. Fill our hearts with your peace so that we are ready to begin our work with ourselves. Amen
Oh Lord, sometimes my insides feel like a battle zone, where missiles are falling too close to home. Other times I’m caught in an endless storm, with thoughts flying out of control. Confusion reigns, and defeat creeps in to steal my joy. I need your peace – the deep-down-in-your-heart kind that stays with me day and night and speaks confidently into the wind. Calm my anxious spirit, Lord; all the attacking “if-onlys” and “what-ifs” fill me with needless worry.
I know that trust is a big part of experiencing peace and that fear has no place in my life. Most of the things I worry about or dread don’t even happen. So I’m declaring my trust in you. I’m releasing the reins of my life again and asking you to take control. I may need to pray this same prayer daily, but I’m tired of the frenzy of life that leaves my schedule and my thoughts without any margin. I need more of you, Lord, and less of me.
Dear God, Bring an end to violence and hatred and discord. Steady the feet that rush into war and the finger poised on the trigger. Bring justice to the downtrodden, restoration to the marginalized and abused, hope to the hopeless. Guide all those in positions of power—whether that power is political or physical or social—and give them wisdom to use their power wisely. Give them, and all of us, the grace to admit when we are wrong and to seek forgiveness. Give us the grace to forgive.
Help us see your face in the faces of the people around us. Give us courage to love one another even when love seems like a risk. Give us compassion for those who are unlike us. Teach us to listen to those we disagree with, to hear stories that make us uncomfortable. Heal the hatred in the world around us by healing our own hearts first. Amen