Gathering in Silence
Call to Prayer
Lighting of Candle
In the name of Jesus Christ, welcome to this service of peace where “God is calling for a prophetic community to emerge, drawn from the nations of the world, that is characterized by uncommon devotion to the compassion and peace of God revealed in Jesus Christ.”
—Doctrine and Covenants 163:11a
Today in our prayers we remember the people of Australia, nation between the Indian and Pacific oceans and comprised of the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands.
Scripture Reading—Matthew 5:38-48 NRSV
You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also; and if anyone wants to sue you and take your coat, give your cloak as well; and if anyone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile. Give to everyone who begs from you, and do not refuse anyone who wants to borrow from you.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Prayer for Peace
The warbling of the magpies, the screeching of the cockatoo,
the laughing of the kookaburra, the Lyre bird with no sound of its own—
imitating other sounds— masquerading as a rosella,
a bell bird, or even a passing car.
All these sounds sing praise to your name, O God.
Goanna move through the sand, Koalas fill up on oil of the Eucalyptus,
possums hide from the raging bush fires, wombats find home in the coolness of the earth,
kangaroos bound through the bush. The wattle, bottle brush, Jacaranda, wild flowers of the desert…
In all of these and more, your creation, O God, is seen.
The sandy plains of the Simpson desert, the baron land of the nalabor;
the beauty and isolated wilderness of the Kakadu;
in the glow of the Olgas at Ulluru, and the tropical beauty of the jungle forest.
In all these places, O God, you can be found.
Just as the animal, native to the isolated great south land, find peace with one another,
never preying off each other, may we too find peace.
How strange it is, O God, that we humans, so often thought of as sophisticated and great, live preying off each other, quick to attack, and live in war.
Our God, in this land of the strange and different, we pray that people might also be strange and different—able to live inter-dependently, free from nationalism.
O God, for the great south land of Australia, blow over the deserts, through the rugged mountains, across the sunburnt plains, and into the lives of its inhabitants—the aboriginals, the white Australians, the people from Asia, the migrant, the refugee…
Blow your wind of hope, of reconciliation, of forgiveness, of love. Help them be free of the cobwebs which stop us living you.
Today’s hymn is 284 in Community of Christ Sings, “Why Should the Earth Disclose a Face.” Sing or silently reflect on the meaning of the text as it is sung. Hymn number 284.
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.
Allow yourself to come reverently into the presence of the Divine and please join with me in prayer. Transformative encounters await you here with the Eternal Creator and Reconciler.
Creator God, cleanse our hearts. Accept the confession of our flaws and failures, and make us whole. Transform us, O God, into the persons of peace and grace you created us to be.
Redeeming God, bring to our awareness those persons and relationships that are broken, and make us conscious of the need for reconciliation and forgiveness. Transform us for relationships of wholeness once again.
Saving God, allow us to feel your love and concern for your children in communities around the world, far and near. We remember all nations, including Australia, the country we pray for today. May we weep with your tears and act with compassion to heal those who are suffering.
God of all creation, stir within us a deep connection with everything you have created; make us aware of the sacred nature of all that surrounds us and lead us into deep reverence that cultivates nurturing actions.
May these prayers of concern, compassion, and transformation for ourselves, others, all people, and the Earth lead us into a world shaped by your unconditional love, O God. Amen.
Cherish inner peace. Honor relationships.
Become communities of love, joy, hope, and peace.
Go in peace.