“The only way to bring peace to the earth is to learn to make our own life peaceful.” The Buddha
September 11th is a date that still sparks great emotion in the U.S. It is a day when we remember that extremists (motivated by religious zeal) hijacked planes and crashed them into the World Trade Center in NYC, the Pentagon, and a field in rural Pennsylvania. Since then, we have heard stories of government sanctioned torture, attacks on our own civil liberties, and on-going military conflicts in two different countries.
For seven years we have lived with war, threats, sagging morale, and a weakening economy. We’ve mourned the loss of young men and women who have been sent to fight a war on two fronts where no end is yet in sight. Once again, we find ourselves learning that we cannot fight our way to peace; or as Admiral Michael Mullin has been quoted as saying, “We cannot kill our way to victory.”
I’m tired of fighting. I’m tired of political rancor. I’m tired of war and executions and character assassinations. I’m tired of people using religion and politics as their excuses to grab power or to silence those who don’t share their opinions. I’m tired of endless discord. I’m ready for people of faith, people of every spiritual tradition, to stand up and speak up and demand that the best of our traditions begin to guide us in the ways of peace, harmony, tolerance, and goodwill. I’m ready for swords to be beaten into ploughshares. I’m ready for the blessings that are promised to the peacemakers.
Today, I wish to honor the victims of 9/11 and those who mourn the loss of their loved ones by praying for an end to the perpetuation of violence that leads neither to justice nor to closure. Today, I pray for healing for our nation and for our world. Today, I pray for peace and for leaders who will work tirelessly to lead us in the ways of peace.
Will you join me in prayer today?:
May we be filled with peaceful intentions. May we be guided by wisdom and motivated by goodwill. May we embrace and live out the promise of peace; and may peace prevail on earth. Let healing love now flow across this and every nation. And let us all again be touched “by the better angels of our nature.” Amen.
Durrell Watkins, M.A., M.Div. – Senior Pastor