Looking to the Good Shepherd Jesus for the example of how to care for others... Keeping a discerning eye on those who claim to be shepherds of God's people... Learning to recognize, heal from, and speak out against abuse -- spiritual, emotional, verbal, and physical -- in churches, organizations, families, and society.
sang this beautiful song at my mother’s memorial service last weekend. My sister Barb chose it, remembering that my
mother had sung it often when we were children.
We decided to recruit whomever would sing it with us, even at the last
minute, and ended up with eight of us.
appreciate the sentiment of this song for its encouragement for each of us to
take the initiative to work for peace in our own spheres of influence, instead
of waiting for someone else “out there” to take the first step.
the same time, I remember that true peace begins with God, and that in a world which
often rejects him and chooses the way of sin, we will never see complete “peace
on earth” or “perfect harmony.” As a
Christian, I am looking forward to a full and lasting peace in Heaven. But that does not exempt me from working
toward peace and justice here. You’ve heard the saying, “He was so heavenly
minded that he was no earthly good.” We
should be both. Christians should not
ignore social justice issues. Christians
should work for peace. We serve a God of
peace and justice. We pray as Jesus taught
us to pray, “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.”
for peace with people does not mean that we will always agree with others or accept
what they do. Sometimes, working for
peace means limiting our exposure to people who have a pattern of hurting
others. It means being like Jesus and
having the courage to confront and curtail those whose actions run contrary to the cause of
peace and justice, even in churches and other Christian organizations. Here is a tiny bit of what the Bible has to say about peacemaking.
P.S. #4: The photos above were all taken with my iPod in my mother's garden shortly before we left for home. The floral knob on the broken down garden gate is a visual metaphor or making beauty in a place of imperfection.
P.S. #5: The stunning photo below, also from my mother's garden, is by my daughter Joanna Knowles of By Jo Photography. The day after the memorial service, she flew off to Australia for a semester, so stay tuned for some more awesome photos.