Peace, Be Still

Yesterday, the news in Washington and on Wall Street was not good. Politicians wrangled and pointed fingers and financial experts and news commentators spoke words of doom. In the days to come many of us will find ourselves worrying about our financial present and future as pundits and politicians continue to unleash a storm of doubt, anxiety and fear and as they try to bail out the Wall Street boat.

In the midst of this chaos, we can hear the words of our Lord who speaks quietly and firmly into our hearts: “Peace, be still” and “Let not your hearts be troubled” and “Look, I am with you always.”

When we’re in the middle of a tempest, it’s hard for us to remember that Jesus doesn’t promise his followers that there will never be storms. In fact, just the opposite seems to be true. Storms hit the disciples full force even with Jesus on board their boat. What Jesus does promise is to be present among us, filling us with his peace even as we travel through this stormy time.

There are many around us who don’t have access to this peace that passes all understanding. Many will fall victim to the fearmongering and finger-pointing distrust that prevails. Still others are in real financial trouble. Whatever the case, we know that the peace of Christ dwells deeply in us and that no matter what, God will not abandon us.

Today, as you travel in that peace, maybe you can find a way to share it with friends and neighbors who are having a hard time seeing through the storm. In the meantime, even though we are separated by time and place, let’s make a commitment to pray together for our world using the prayer printed below.

A Prayer for All of Us (from homileticsonline.com)
God of powerful voice, speak once again your words of majesty and love. So often we hear only sounds of uncertainty and anxiety; we long to sense your powerful presence among us. To those who feel fear and powerlessness, speak your life-giving words, “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you.”

We lift up those who feel alone and unloved, whose hands no one holds, whose names have been forgotten. Tell them and tell us, “I have called you by name. You are mine.”

We pray for those facing crises, whether physical or mental, that threaten to overwhelm, who feel as though they may drown in their struggle. Tell them and tell us, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you.”

We remember those facing personal trials, in communities, families, relationships or calls, who live afraid of being burned by their circumstances. Tell them and tell us, “When you walk through fire you shall not be burned.”

Because we forget so often, O God, remind us all of your love for us and all of your children. Tell us all once again, “You are precious in my sight, and honored, and I love you.” As you speak to us, may we sense your presence and hear your love so that we might share them with all who long for you. In the name of your loving and comforting Son. Amen.

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