Beginning the New Year Together --
For the Peace of the Nation and the World
On election night, I was teaching in a 5-Day Upper Room Academy for Spiritual Formation in Oklahoma. The group held a beautiful candle light labyrinth walk for “the peace of the nation.” I received this vision: the map of the U.S.A. was laid over the labyrinth. This image of the U.S.A. rose to join its place in the globe, gently rotating above the labyrinth. The message was clear: the factionalism and struggles we are engaged in within our nation are mirrors of the same kind of struggles going on within the whole human family, as ancient divisions of culture and religion must give way in order for a new humanity to be birthed in our time – a new world of deeper respect, mutuality, and greater connectivity.
A similar vision inspired Glynden Bode and several women from different faith traditions in Houston to meet regularly in the challenging days after September 11, 2001. Their labyrinth walk became a pathway for prayers for peace and gaining inspiration for personal action. Glynden graciously wrote of this time in her contribution to A Quiet Pentecost.
May we each be inspired in the months ahead to pray and work for a new era of grace, justice, and peace within the human family.
We have learned in new ways how much our nation has become factionalized during the presidential election. Now we have the opportunity to speak directly to the many difficulties facing our nation, our communities, and our families. I am encouraged by the personal and collective conversations that are already taking place, as we begin to recognize that greater individual participation may be required of each of us, if we are to move toward a new common good.
Let us join together to serve the Prince of Peace in fresh ways in 2017.