To Be At Peace

So all of you should live together in peace. Try to understand each other. Love each other like brothers and sisters. Be kind and humble. – (1 Peter 3:8, ERV)

 

Yesterday, as we returned to school for the first day that followed the 15th anniversary of 9/11, I spent the day informing my students about the events that unfolded, and then discussing questions that came up in conversation. One particular conversation that stood out to me, was the one about who was responsible for the terrorist attacks. An article that we read mentioned that the al-Qaeda were Islamic extremists. It was a terrific teachable moment, as one student started to make a statement about all people who followed Islam. What I was able to unpack for this kiddo, was that there is a vast difference between people who are living out their lives following their particular faith, and those who are among extremist groups. Though we don’t all believe the same things, the intent of most, is to live well. I was able to convey how despite the tragedy on that fateful day, our nation banded together during that time, as it has never done before or since. In light of the state of unrest in our country today, the very same sort of mindset toward one another is needed. We need to sympathize with one another. It is only when we choose to try to understand each other, that we are able to love each other as brothers and sisters. May we be kind and humble in all things and at all times.

 

Let us be at peace,OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Wherever we go;

Seek to understand,

Don’t think that we know.

All have a story,

That needs to be told;

Storms they are facing,

A hand we can hold.

When we choose listen,

Our choice to love grows;

For the heart can love,

Only what it knows.

Be kind and humble,

For there we find peace;

When we love as Christ,

Tensions are released.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You only ask of us that which You are willing to equip and empower us to do. Thank You that You showed us how to live together in peace and seek to understand one another through Your Son, and through those who have gone before us. Thank You that You give us Your heart to love one another as brothers and sisters, and in You, we can be kind and humble to those whom we encounter. Forgive us for not being aligned with Your will and choosing to walk in our own way. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would be of one mind with You. Show us how to love each other as brothers and sisters, so that You may be evident in all that we say and do. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek to understand and love well, all those whom we come across each day. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort. – 2 Corinthians 1:3

Thankful for Life Illustrations

Everyday there are real life examples of scripture being played out. Last evening, was no exception. I am so thankful that God uses the everyday, ordinary things, to show us the truth of His word in action.

 

Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude. – (1 Peter 3:8, NLT)

 

This morning, as I woke, the memory of last evening’s family outing put a huge grin on my face. The joy in remembering the transformation in my son from how he began to how he finished, was phenomenal. After enjoying our Thanksgiving meal and relaxing for a while, my sister, brother-in-law, mom and myself, were wondering how to get the four boys out and at least a little bit active, after a day of some serious screen time. My sister came up with the brilliant idea of bowling. None of us have done much, so the potential for entertainment was terrific.

When we arrived at the bowling alley and began, Adventurous was not a stellar bowler from the start. He threw several gutter balls, and was becoming a bit frustrated, especially when his youngest cousin was dominating the game. Each of us continued to offer kind words of encouragement, and I reminded him that what mattered most for the evening, was that we were together, and that we were having fun. Something remarkable began to happen as the evening unfolded. Though he had the lowest score in the first game, he began to encourage those around him, and as he did, he began doing better too. By our final game, Adventurous actually beat all of the other kids, and most of the adults!  His kindness and humility had helped him persevere, and he was both amazed and pleased with the result. I don’t think any of us stopped smiling when we realized that Adventurous was going to win the final round. We all sympathized with his initial frustration, and all love him and wanted to see him feel good about his experience. Let us remember to have the mind of Christ so that we may sympathize with each other, love one another as brothers and sisters, be tenderhearted, and stay humble in all things.

 

Let’s be of one mind,IMG_1774

established in Christ;

where we sympathize,

and choose to be nice.

Let’s love each other,

as we’re called to do;

like our own siblings,

may grace see us through.

Be tenderhearted,

in humility;

let love freely flow,

to all whom we meet.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You sympathize with us. Thank You that You love us and are tenderhearted toward us. Forgive us for our lack of humility, sympathy or love towards one another. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would be of one mind with You, operating in Your love, grace and humility towards all whom we encounter. Lead us to love well, so that those whom we meet may come to know Your grace through us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be exalted O God, as we love each other as sisters and brothers, sympathize with each other, are tenderhearted and humble, and like-minded with You.  Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort. – 2 Corinthians 1:3