Shattering the Status Quo

Sunday, August 18

8-18By Wim van Klinken, director of International Headquarters

“I came to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! I have a baptism with which to be baptized, and what stress I am under until it is completed! Do you think that I have come to bring peace to the earth? No. I tell you, but rather division!”

—Luke12:49–51

In the scripture focus from Luke Jesus makes clear one of the experiences and results of being in mission with Christ is division even within families. The road to shalom, eternal peace for all of creation, challenges us to uproot all evil and injustices. This engages us in “challenging cultural, political, and religious trends that are contrary to the reconciling and restoring purposes of God” (Doctrine and Covenants163.3b).

It requires of us a change of heart, repentance, and decision. It asks of us commitment to the journey of “restoring persons to healthy or righteous relationships with God, others, themselves, and the earth” (163.2b). We need “to examine the depth of our baptismal commitment,” and to “become fully immersed in the servant life of Christ” (164.3a).

Shalom, “the rise of Zion the beautiful, the peaceful reign of Christ, awaits our wholehearted response” (164.9b). The kingdom is something happening among us, only if we are willing to see it and willing to address the forces obstructing its presence. It needs us to be different, to shatter also our status quo, and to become “a true and living expression of the life, sacrifice, resurrection, and continuing presence of Christ” (164.4c).

Prayer for Peace
Creator God, give us the courage to make the changes in our lives that will further define our path to shalom. Allow us to release preconceptions that hinder our understanding. Give us the strength to overcome any fears we might have in sharing Christ’s peace.

Spiritual Practice: Embodying God’s Shalom
Find a way to express and embody God’s shalom. Begin by prayerfully listening to your longing for peace. Become silent and imagine you can hear the groaning of the Earth’s people, nations, and creatures. Prayerfully open yourself to what needs to be changed to find peace and the divine vision of shalom.

What images, feelings, and words come to you? What prayer for peace comes to you from your time of listening? Speak or write this prayer. What act of justice, kindness, healing, or peacemaking does God invite you to consider this day?

Peace Covenant
Today, God, I will re-examine and adjust my agenda for Christ’s mission.

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