Dear Friends, I am sharing the first of the Season of Peace reflections from the Presbyterian Mission Agency since one of our own Marion Park (Grace First Pres.) traveled with the Peacemaking program this year. Information about the season and subscribing to the daily reflections follow. Peace to all of us and our world, Anita
Path of Peace Daily Reflections
Throughout A Season of Peace (September 7–October 5), subscribe to this daily email of reflections and prayer to guide your journey as a peacemaker, a child of God. This year’s Path of Peace Daily Reflections were written by Presbyterians who traveled to Israel and Palestine for the 2014 Presbyterian Peacemaking Program conference, “Mosaic of Peace.” Each day a Scripture reading from The Biblical Witness to Peacemaking is paired with a conference participant’s reflection and prayer. A simple action is also suggested to create practical ways to engage daily.
September 7, 2014
Submitted by Ginna Bairby
Reflection: When I reflect on my time in Israel/Palestine with the “Mosaic of Peace” Conference, I remember two walls.
The first is the Wailing Wall, a Jewish holy site at the only remaining part of the Temple, destroyed in 70 CE. Jewish people come to this wall to pray, to touch the wall and cry, and to wedge their written prayers into its cracks and crevices.
The second is the Separation Wall constructed to isolate Israeli people from Palestinian people, called everything from a “security measure” to an “apartheid wall.” This wall inhibits the economic, political, social, and religious well-being of the Palestinian people, and they have responded by inscribing their own prayers—in words, stories, and art—in a mosaic of protest graffiti.
Both walls have seen many hopes, tears, and prayers; but mostly, they’ve seen waiting. Forty-seven years have passed since the Six-Day War, 66 since the partition and the beginning of violence and displacement. These walls belong to people who have long grown weary of waiting.
So what are we to do with a text like this from Isaiah, one that calls upon us to wait for God’s renewal? Sure, God may not faint or grow weary (v. 28), but we in our war-torn world surely have!
It gives me hope to know that these words were written to the Hebrew people in exile, to a community that had also grown weary with waiting. That to fearful and occupied people, whether in the sixth century BC or the twenty-first century AD, God continues to promise renewal.
Action: Perhaps this text issues a call to us as well. Where in your community have people waited too long for justice and peace? Begin the conversation with those around you—for what have they been waiting too long? Perhaps you will be the wall upon which others can inscribe their prayers.
Prayer: God of hope, we are weary for the waiting. Quench the thirst of our hearts with your renewal. Bring your people peace. Amen.
Ginna Bairby is the managing editor of Unbound, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s online journal for social justice issues, and the official blogger for “Mosaic of Peace.” Ginna is a member of the Presbytery of the James.
The Presbyterian Peacemaking Program is fully funded by the generous gifts made by people just like you. Please support our continuing efforts of promoting the peace of Christ throughout the world by making an online gift. For additional information please visit the Season of Peace website.