I’ve been thinking a lot about this town and this country and the stress we’re all under due to politics, COVID, and racial tensions. I’ve been concerned about erupting emotions after the election that is just a couple of weeks away. I’m fearful that anger and frustration which is barely being controlled will find its justification to explode at the announcement of the winner of our presidential election. I’m afraid people will be hurt. I’m more afraid that people will die.
When I bring this fear to God through prayer I ask, what can I do to sooth this angry and participate in peace? A dear friend of mine, a Boston Police Officer, told me that all officers are on call through the week of the election and that they would be running 12 hours shifts. I thought, they are being called in to insure peace on the streets of Boston. Surely there is a way, as faithful Christians, to help.
Every time I pray this prayer – ask these questions – I come out of my prayer humming the song I learned as a child, Make Me an Instrument of your Peace, the lyrics of which are the prayer of St. Francis of Asissi, an Italian Catholic friar, deacon, philosopher, mystic, and preacher of the late 12th century. It feels as if, beloved fellow followers of Christ, we are called now more than any other time in our lifetimes, to be God’s instruments of peace. It seems that, instead of fear and worry, frustration and debate, we can instead implement peace, love, pardon, union, truth, faith, hope, light, and joy. It seems, dear Loves, that our lives and journey of faith have been building to the very moment in history when the world – this nation – this town needs what we have and know and are more than ever before.
Friends, I invite you by your faith to join me over the next weeks in choosing to be not what the world calls us to be – that is, Democrat or Republican – but instead, an instrument of God’s peace.
Pray this prayer with me today, tomorrow, and every morning upon waking as a reminder of how Christ is calling us to be in a world that is broken in a way that only hope and love can heal.
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me bring love.
Where there is offence, let me bring pardon.
Where there is discord, let me bring union.
Where there is error, let me bring truth.
Where there is doubt, let me bring faith.
Where there is despair, let me bring hope.
Where there is darkness, let me bring your light.
Where there is sadness, let me bring joy.
O Master, let me not seek as much
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love,
for it is in giving that one receives,
it is in self-forgetting that one finds,
it is in pardoning that one is pardoned,
it is in dying that one is raised to eternal life.