Dear friends in Christ,
To say there’s a lot going on in our world would be an understatement. Between politics, the pandemic, the economy, and protests over racism, it can seem overwhelming.
On Twitter, I asked for suggestions for topics for today’s Forward Today. One person responded, “It seems like calm in a time of chaos might be something readers need now.” Well, yes, I think that’s it. We need to know the peace that passes all understanding, especially in a world that seems unbearably chaotic.
Every now and then, I’ll hear someone say, “Prayer is not enough. We need action.” I reject the dichotomy. Prayer is action. Praying changes my heart, for sure. And I think prayer can change the world.
Sure, we need actions beyond just prayer. In the past, I have joined protests, written letters, made donations, and much more. But it is prayer that sustains me and keeps me focused on God and on God’s kingdom of righteousness and justice. My hope is that, for Christians, our lives are steeped in prayer. Otherwise, we run the risk of setting our minds on earthly things rather than heavenly things.
Yesterday morning, as I said morning prayer, I was struck by the refrain in Psalm 80, “Restore us, O God of hosts; * show the light of your countenance, and we shall be saved.” We don’t save ourselves by endless striving. God restores us. God has accomplished our salvation in Jesus Christ. Our task is to proclaim God’s love, mercy, righteousness, and justice.
Last Sunday I went to a community-wide service of lament and prayer held in one of our parks. One of the speakers said this: “Our hope comes from the Lord, but we need to be people who bring hope. Christ is not coming out of the sky right now to bring us hope. You have to be the voice of hope. Do not stay silent!”
Let us pray. Let us pray every day. Let us pray every day for the wisdom, courage, and strength to be bearers of Jesus Christ’s hope, mercy, and grace in the world.
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This series was made in partnership with Trinity Institute in 2016 based on their 2016 conference, Listen for a Change: Sacred Conversations for Racial Justice. Courses are built on lectures by some of our leading teachers on the subject of race in America.
- Spirituality and Racial Justice with Michael Curry
- Whiteness and Racial Justice with Kelly Brown Douglas
- Theology and Racial Justice with J. Kameron Carter
- Racism and Racial Justice with Eduardo Bonilla-Silva
- Reparations and Racial Justice with Jennifer Harvey
This series is for those looking to deepen their understanding and conversations on racial injustice.
Listen to today’s Forward Day by Day reflection on the Forward Day by Day podcast. Find morning prayer on the Morning at the Office podcast and end your day with the Evening at Prayer podcast. Available anywhere you listen!
In case you missed it…