Advent 2016-3 : Peace within your walls

‘May those who love you be secure.

May there be peace within your walls

    and security within your citadels.’

For the sake of my family and friends,

    I will say, ‘Peace be within you.’

For the sake of the house of the Lord our God,

    I will seek your prosperity.”

Psalm 122:6-9


Today’s reading from Psalm 122 made me think of the recent US election.  I find I am deeply disturbed about all its implications and concerned about the future for both those within and those of us outside of the US.  And so my response was to draw the dove as a symbol of both the Holy Spirit and of peace, and to include the Stars and Stripes of the US flag.

It somehow seems ironic that this is a time when we are looking forward to the birth of a middle Eastern baby, born into a refugee family, and someone who stood against Empire, and who taught us to love our neighbours (pointing out that our neighbours are those who we might see as foreign and not like ourselves).  Jesus came for the poor, the oppressed, the marginalised, the minorities.  He challenged the comfortable and sought justice for those whom this world has crushed.

And so I feel shocked and helpless and want to dissociate myself from those who claim to be Christian and yet supported a candidate who is the polar opposite of all that Jesus was and is.  And the only response I have is to pray.  I pray that despite how things are, the work Jesus came to do might still go on; that despite the hate-mongering, ALL people in the US might live safely and securely and that peace would reign.  This is my prayer for all our sakes.

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