June 2, 2021
INVITATION and READING
Come, find peace in God’s holy word. Come, find love in the grace of Jesus. Come, find purpose in the Holy Spirit within you.
Romans 14: 13-19
13 Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. 14 I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself, but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean. 15 For if your brother is grieved by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. By what you eat, do not destroy the one for whom Christ died. 16 So do not let what you regard as good be spoken of as evil. 17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18 Whoever thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. 19 So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.
Glory to you, God of love and peace.
As I prepare our weekly devotional on this Memorial Day, I am thinking about the ways each of us are taking time to honor the men and women of our armed forces for their service, especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice on our behalf as they fought for peace around the world.
One way we show our gratitude is by doing our part to continue the legacy they fought and died for – to work for peace and unity among all people. As citizens and as God’s children, we unite our hearts and minds to this purpose.
Of course, I’m humming “Let There Be Peace on Earth” (UMH #431) as I write. More than a beautiful sentiment or distant goal, these words call us as extensions of God’s hand in creating a more peaceful and loving world. This hymn was written in 1955 by Jill Jackson-Miller (1913-1995) and Sy Miller (1908-1971). Jill Jackson recalls that her failed marriage and suicide attempt in 1944 led her to God’s unconditional love, where she found her gift of writing. Her life was transformed, and a new partnership with husband Sy Miller created this song. “Let There Be Peace on Earth” was first introduced to a multi-cultural group of young people at a California retreat, and has reached millions of people since. The words have been updated (as in our hymnal) with inclusive language, making it even more accessible. Here is a very moving recording by the Young People’s Chorus of NYC singing at the 9/11 Memorial Museum inter-faith service:
Dear Lord, we pray for peace in our minds and hearts as we are calmed by your saving promise. We confess our weakness and doubt as we seek to follow you. Let us find our paths forward in your will for us. So let it begin with me.
Dear Lord, we pray for peace and harmony in our families, churches, and communities. May we work together to lift each other up as we share your love in all we do and say. So let it begin with me.
Dear Lord, let us work for peace in our country and throughout the world as we honor those who fought for freedom and truth at home and abroad. May we no longer use race and religion to divide us, but create love and unity as we follow the example of the one who suffered and died for us, and for all humankind – Jesus Christ. And so Lord, let it begin with me.
Offered by Joche Wilmot, Director of Music Ministries