2022 Peace Day Theme: End Racism. Build Peace.
The International Day of Peace (“Peace Day”) is observed around the world each year on 21 September. Established in 1981 by unanimous United Nations resolution, Peace Day provides a globally shared date for all humanity to commit to Peace above all differences and to contribute to building a Culture of Peace.
Peacemaking doesn’t mean passivity. It is the act of interrupting injustice without mirroring injustice, the act of disarming evil without destroying the evildoer, the act of finding a third way that is neither flight nor fight but the careful, arduous pursuit of reconciliation and justice. It is about a revolution of love that is big enough to set both the oppressed and oppressors free.
Peace to every land that faces stress, crisis, tension, or struggle. Peace to every community that searches for justice, reconciliation, and restoration. Peace to nations suffering from natural disasters and trying to rebuild. Peace in the hearts of leaders who can resolve the divisions between human beings. Peace to those of every faith who pray for peace and work for peace. Peace in the kinship of hope between us all. Peace for our elders and our children. Peace in our minds and in our hearts. Peace to all living things. Peace, we pray, peace. (Source: Bishop Steven Charleston)
Praying for peace and justice when we’re tired – tired of the years of the COVID pandemic, tired of war, tired of corruption, tired of recalcitrance and hesitation in addressing the climate emergency, tired of battles for justice on multiple fronts, tired of racism and all the other ‘isms’. Just tired. This prayer by Laura Jean Truman resonates, and so pertinent on this International Day of Peace.
(Other resources and prayers can be found here)
A Prayer for the Tired , Angry Ones
We’re so tired.
We want to do justice, but work feels endless, and the results look so small in our exhausted hands.
We want to love mercy, but our enemies are relentless, and it feels like foolishness to prioritize gentleness in this unbelievably cruel world.
We want to walk humbly, but self-promotion is seductive, and we are afraid that if we don’t look after ourselves, no one else will.
We want to be kind, but our anger feels insatiable.
Jesus, in this never-ending wilderness, come to us and grant us grace.
Grant us the courage to keep showing up to impossible battles, trusting that it is our commitment to faithfulness, and not our obsession with results that will bring Your shalom.
Grant us the vulnerability to risk loving our difficult and complicated neighbor, rejecting the lie that some people are made more in the image of God than others.
Grant us the humility of a decentered but Beloved self.
As we continue to take the single step that is in front of us, keep us from becoming what we are called to transform. Protect us from using the empire’s violence – for Your kingdom of peace.
Keep our anger from becoming meanness.
Keep our sorrow from collapsing into self-pity.
Keep our hearts soft enough to keep breaking.
Keep our outrage turned toward justice, not cruelty.
Remind us that all of this, every bit of it, is for love.
Keep us fiercely kind.
Source: Laura Jean Truman, in “A Rythm of Prayer: A Collection of Meditations for Renewal” edited by Sarah Bessey