“Channel” - January 20, 2021
God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God. (NLT)
Today is a big day for our neighbours to the south with the inauguration of a new president. It is obvious to say that healing and peacemaking is a hoped-for tone and dynamic for future days, months and years. It is a desired vision for any nation.
As followers of Jesus, we see ourselves as citizens of a kingdom that supersedes all earthly kingdoms. The words from Matthew 5 are part of what is known as “The Sermon on the Mount” given by Jesus. In some ways this ‘sermon’ functions as a kind of inauguration address by Jesus who leads through humility, love, righteousness, mercy and peace and calls the citizens of his kingdom to live in the same way. In fact, true peace begins to form among a people when individuals themselves practice this virtue, when each person is a channel of the peace of Christ.
A wonderfully well-known prayer attributed to St. Francis of Assisi is a fitting place to begin each morning of our following Jesus.
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me bring love.
Where there is offence, let me bring pardon.
Where there is discord, let me bring union.
Where there is error, let me bring truth.
Where there is doubt, let me bring faith.
Where there is despair, let me bring hope.
Where there is darkness, let me bring your light.
Where there is sadness, let me bring joy.
O Master, let me not seek as much
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love,
for it is in giving that one receives,
it is in self-forgetting that one finds,
it is in pardoning that one is pardoned,
it is in dying that one is raised to eternal life.
What better voices to lead this powerful but straightforward prayer than those of children. The prayer “Make Me A Channel of Your Peace” is offered in song by the choir of Dragon School Oxford, in Oxford, United Kingdom. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2svZhZT6Pro