Gathering in Silence
Call to Prayer
Lighting of Candle
In the name of Jesus Christ, welcome to this sacred space which “stand(s) as a towering symbol of a people who knew injustice and strife on the frontier and who now seek the peace of Jesus Christ throughout the world.”
—Doctrine and Covenants 161:2b
Today in our prayers we remember the people of Burundi, located in the African Great Lakes region of East Africa, and bordered by Rwanda to the north, Tanzania to the east and south, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west.
Scripture Reading—Galatians 6:14, NRSV
May I never boast of anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
Prayer for Peace
A tiny flame is light.
It seems so inconsequential.
It is so small over against the light of the sun.
But in the dark of a moonless night,
It is the glow of warmth, safety, and peace.
That is how we feel today, Lord.
Like a tiny flame of no consequence
In the brightness of your presence.
But amid the uncertainties and fragilities of life
A single soul or a tiny quorum of persons,
or petite community of faith
Can bring warmth, safety, and peace.
It is in such small enclaves that we learn
so much about how to live.
The simple but complex issues of living together in community
Are played out daily in our individual and corporate stories.
There are so many things we do not know,
Our questions persist, they are countless
like those of Seers and Prophets, past and present.
With Moses, we ask, “Why do the heavens weep?”
With Jesus, we ask, “Why hast thou forsaken me?”
We wonder at our blessings. Why us?
We flourish in our relationships and in our diversity,
yet fall short in our actions. Why?
We live with an awareness of the holiness
of the planet we walk upon but abuse it to its death.
We ask, “How does it happen?”
We cherish this place; it is our home;
We cherish each other; we are family;
Yet we forget. Why?
We say peace, peace, but there is no peace.
Devastating tornadoes destroy lives and property,
Earthquakes and tsunamis lay siege to peoples and nations,
Unrelenting wars and atrocities leave people alone, without home.
Our hope, our faith is like the tiny glow of the candle of peace,
We pray to become instruments of your peace,
But we fail to be an answer to our own prayers
Help us be the presence of your warmth,
your safety, and your peace.
Help us to care for each other,
Cherish each other,
Encourage each other,
Teach each other,
Forgive each other,
Lift each other up,
Bless each other,
Love each other,
Not for ourselves alone,
And when we do so, humbly, do it in the name of your Son, Jesus,
The Source, the Presence of our peace.
Today’s hymn is 460 in Community of Christ Sings, “Why Has God Forsaken Me?.” Please sing or silently reflect on the meaning of the text as it is sung. Hymn number 460.
Prayers of the People
As we enter a time of guided prayer, meditation, and musical reflection, you are invited to offer silent prayers or meditate during the moments of quiet. The Prayers of the People begin with individuals and groups, then move out from this Temple of Peace to include the human family and the planet.
Within all aspects of our lives and our world exist situations and conditions that need the healing touch of the Holy. Will you join with me to listen to the Voice that speaks peace to each of us from beyond the farthest hills, from the infinite heavens above, and the vast seas below.
Listen to the Voice that invites you to surrender your fears and frustrations, anger, and anxieties, and to await with an open heart the peace that only Christ can bring. Allow the One who seeks only the best for you to offer the comfort you seek.
Listen to the Voice that whispers the invitation to reconciliation with those whose lives, words, decisions, or actions have wounded you. May you find space in your heart for healing to occur in your relationships with brothers and sisters, as well as your enemies.
Listen to the Voice that calls all people from all countries, including Burundi, the country for which we pray this day into unity and oneness. May we be attuned to hear the cries for mercy, forgiveness and generosity. Listen to the One who reminds us that in the welfare of another resides our own well-being.
Listen to the Voice that echoes across the eons of time and yet speaks anew in this moment. The earth shudders in distress because creation’s natural and living systems are becoming exhausted from carrying the burden of our greed and conflicts. Listen to creation which struggles to provide life to the seas, the hills, and the heavens above.
May the One who spoke calm to the storm and stilled the waves with a word, bring peace to us and through us. May we be among those whose lives whisper, shout, and proclaim peace to those far and near for the sake of God’s shalom. Amen.
Be witnesses of hope,
Shed tears for injustice, and
Make a difference in the world.
Go in peace.