I saw this prayer by Walter Brueggemann on Margaret Feinberg’s site:
We give you thanks for the babe born in violence.
We give you thanks for the miracle of Bethlehem,
born into the Jerusalem heritage.
We do not understand why the innocents must be slaughtered;
we know that your kingdom comes in violence and travail.
Our time would be a good time for your kingdom to come,
because we have had enough of violence and travail.
So we wait with eager longing,
and with enormous fear,
because your promises
do not coincide with our favorite injustices.
We pray for the coming of your kingdom on earth
as it is around your heavenly throne.
We are people grown weary of waiting.
We dwell in the midst of cynical people,
and we have settled for what we can control.
We do know that you hold initiative for our lives,
that your love planned our salvation
before we saw the light of day.
And so we wait for your coming,
in your vulnerable baby
in whom all things are made new.
-“In violence and travail” by Walter Brueggemann
In the midst of a time where emotions seem to run so high in our own culture, I too often forget of the tensions in other parts of the world.
I have a gift on my desk representing Christians living in Bethlehem. They are the forgotten persecuted. As are the Syrian Christians…
The culture I live in deals with violent words and posts of “intolerance,” but I do not live in a world where I am threatened in my existence. Lord, help me to see my brothers and sisters around the world and understand their longing for the coming again of our Savior.
Lord, you indeed are the only One who can make all things new.
Peace on earth.