Sunday, August 06, 2006

A Prayer for Middle East Peace

(from Alexander Nevsky's Cathedral, Tallinn, Estonia)

(The following prayer was offered recently by John Thomas, General Minister and President of the United Church of Christ, sent to me by my brother Nelson in Michigan.)

You did not make us, O God, to die in bomb craters or to huddle through the night in basement shelters. You made us to play under olive trees and cedars and to sleep soundly with animal toys and gentle lovers. Lord, have mercy.

You did not make us, O God, to hold hostages for barter or to rain deadly fury on innocent children and beautiful coast lands. You made us, O God, to welcome strangers and to cherish all creation. Christ, have mercy.

You did not make us, O God, to oppress in the name of security or to kill in the name of justice. You made us, O God, to find security in justice and to risk life in the name of peace. Lord, have mercy.

While leaders in Tel Aviv and Damascus, Tehran, Washington and southern Lebanon pander to ancient fears, claim the mantle of righteous victim, and pursue their little empires in the name of gods of their own devising, the people of Lebanon and northern Israel are made captive to fear, true victims whose only advocate is You.

Save us from self-justifying histories and from moral equations that excuse our folly. Search our hearts for our own complicity. Spare us from pious prayers that neglect the prophet’s angry cry. Let us speak a resounding “no” to this warring madness and thus unmake our ways of death, so that we may be made more and more into your image.

Kyrie eleison. Kyrie eleison. Kyrie eleison.


  1. Amen to that, dear Ginnie. Just this morning, Orange said:"This war is so sad! Why?"... And shut the paper. It makes us both sick, because it's ridicoulous. But aren't most wars?

  2. Oh Ginnie, you are so right. This morning I read the newspaper from Saturday and the first headline I read stated "Again many civilians die". The first remark I made to CS was that this madness has to stop. Why do nations think they have the right to attack other nations for minor reasons? I just folded the newspaper away as I thought it was to depressing to read about war again. It's jst a while ago that the Iraq war stopped and right after that the number of losses on the side of the americans really boomed. Let countries solve their internal problems themselves and let countries work together on an international basis to improve live and circumstances world wide. No more madness, just stick together and make this world a better place...

  3. CS and Orange-X: (I hope you don't mind that I join you together in this response, you who are already joined!)

    I can't tell you how much your comments mean to me. They bring tears to my eyes because I wavered on entering this post at all. I really do try not to be political on this blog, but today (using Sunday as my excuse) I needed to have a voice on this issue. Your response has made me glad I didn't give in to my fear.

    I think what is the saddest thing of all for me, coming from a fundamentalist background, is that so many so-called "Christians" are viewing these events with joy and triumph, believing it means the Day of the Lord is coming. Armageddon, in other words. So instead of praying for world peace or striving to make a difference or learning to love our neighbors as ourselves, they're praying for the Second Coming. It's so sad to me. I just want to weep.

  4. I want to add a strong amen to that prayer. It is way past time to let go of war and hatred and build peace and love for one another.

  5. Thanks, Tim, for your support of LOVE and not WAR! God have mercy on us all.