As so many people across the nation are putting the final touches on their plans for the Christmas and New Years holidays, much of what this season has meant to be has seemingly become slightly somber. This is partly due to the beatings that this nation has faced over the last few months. One being the grand jury decision made to not indict Ferguson, MO officer Darren Wilson in shooting death of Michael Brown. Another would be the follow up decision not to indict the officer involved in the choking death of Eric Garner. Then came the accusations of alleged abuse by America’s favorite television dad from the ’80’s, Bill Cosby. Most recently has been the events surrounding Hollywood elites who have allowed cyber hackers to silence them.
Whatever your thoughts have been regarding any of these events, it is quite evident that it has shaken many American's spirit and has dampened the festive mood around the nation. Thinking on what all this has created at this time has caused me to take pause, reflect, and pray about the season and the new year ahead. That being said, here is what I pray for:
I Pray For Peace: At some point in time, many people will be singing Christmas carols. One particular song that is very near to my heart is Hark the Herald Angels Sing. Within the lyrics are the words, “peace on earth.” While many may feel that there will never be a time when peace will be achieved, it does not mean to me that we should stop the pursuit of it. I pray for peace because within the definition of the word peace is not merely a sense of tranquility, but a sense of wholeness. For me, wholeness means that there must be an active seeking to bring healing and restoration of relationships and community throughout. That required work. Communication, a willingness to hear and a fearlessness to speak to injustices and an equal willingness to work toward a resolution that serves to repair the divide won’t come easy, but is so necessary to obtaining the peace that is very possible.
Whatever your plans are from now until the new year. I encourage you to pause for a moment to pray, plan, and pray some more about how the new year can be greater than this year.
QUESTION: What do you pray for as we approach the holidays?
- A conversation about race in America: The meaning and aftermath of the Eric Garner grand jury decision (pix11.com)
- The Growing Problem of America’s Grand Juries (viableopposition.blogspot.com)