Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Lamenting Violence, Longing for Its End, Craving Peace

Written by: Scotty Smith

     Then Jesus said to him, "Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then should the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must be so?" Matt. 26:52-54 (ESV)

I will make peace your governor and well-being your ruler. No longer will violence be heard in your land, nor ruin or destruction within your borders, but you will call your walls Salvation and your gates Praise. Isa. 60:17-18 (NIV)

     Lord Jesus, we come to you today with cries of lament and sighs of longing. How long, O Lord, until you return and put an end to all violence--whether it's in the streets of our cities or the villages of Afghanistan? When will looting flood victims' homes never happen again, only spontaneous generosity?

How long before there's no more threats of war, or even divisive personalities; no more human trafficking or even spite-filled Tweets; no more missiles launched over bordering nations or next-door neighbors spatting over lawn care? When will the dawn break on the Day or no more arguments between friends, pettiness between spouses, and petulance in our churches? How long, O Lord, how long?

We yearn for the Day when Peace will be our governor and Well-being our ruler--when walls won't be built of bricks and mortar, but of grace and salvation; when gates won't be locked, to keep others out of our homes, but open, to welcome the nations into the new earth. How long until lambs and wolves live together? How long, O Lord, how long until the knowledge of your glory will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea?

Until that Day, Jesus, help us to live by the gospel, not by the sword; by the way of your cross, not by the ways of mere men. You are the Prince of Peace--sovereign over angels and disciples, kings and conflicts. Grant us grace-seed to sow today, in light of the ultimate Day of the harvest of peace. So very Amen we pray, in your strong and loving name.

 

 



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