Lord, thank you for your guidance in compiling these reflections.

The tables are turned. In Jesus' day Christians were subordinate and had to relinquish power in order to control their destinies. Now we are in a new day. We are responsible for the empire, we are responsible for the soldiers, we are responsible for the Pax Romanum. We have the capacity to feed the starving, care for the weak, educate the unknowing. We are a voice in the wilderness. Our voice is resounding throughout the world and it is corrupt. The words speak peace and our actions create conflict. Our policies say share and our history says take. We have a chance to reach out to those in need. We have a chance to let our Palestinian family know that we have not abandoned them. We can let them know that we will not make enemies based on a human concept called 'religion'. By labeling an ethnic group 'terrorists' we attempt to disqualify them from forgiveness and mercy and compassion.

We have training camps for war and assassination but where are our training camps for peace and justice. We empower our leaders to retaliate and don't realize the consequences. The consequences of war and hatred and isolation are not peace and justice and love. We have forgotten that we reap what we sow.

We would like to believe that we are a compassionate people. We would like to believe that we share our wealth. We would like to believe that we live our values.

Lord, let us speak and live your values in all the aspects of our daily living. Like Jesus' relationship with Lazarus, let us search for brotherhood among those whom we might fear and loath. With our concerns for self-preservation and comfort we lose track of Jesus' example of sacrifice and servitude. We are siblings with Palestinian and Iraqi Muslims and all the factions of Bosnia and Chechnya. We have not been good siblings. Please humble our opinions of ourselves. We know very little. We are at your mercy and our hope is in your grace. Our pride and our fear too often control our reactions and decisions. Help us to hear the true meaning of your teachings. Help us to follow your path no matter how inconvenient. Help us to break out of our customary lives and determine to be true believers. Prepare us to reach out and make peace in the world. Prepare us to wake up from our dream to the reality that we are not who we thought we were. We want to be the peacemakers, we want to be the healers, we want to be fishers of men. Lord help us. Amen

Created on ... March 26, 2004