Lent is a time of reflection.
Lent is also a time when people make commitments to take up spiritual practices and that has mixed into my thinking as well.
“Let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger…” James 1:19:
Reflect this Lent as we seek to be people who live out the patterns of Jesus in our churches, communities, and with our families, friends, and co-workers. The Jesus who invited his followers to turn the other cheek when insulted, and himself did not respond when falsely accused.
God your word brought creation into being and gave humanity the gift of speech,
Teach us, we pray, to listen to others, valuing their words, their stories, their voices.
By your Spirit control our tongues that we may be slow to speak. Teach us to think before we speak, so that we may “Say only what helps, each word a gift.” (James 1:19, The Message)
Remake us this Lent, by the Spirit’s action in our lives, that we might be known as people who are quick to listen and slow to speak.
These things we pray in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
—The Rev. Peter Bush, Moderator of the 2017 General Assembly
Moderator Encourages Prayers for South Sudan and Congo
God of all mercy, we pray for the people of South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Bring an end to the violence; that people may go about their lives free from threat and fear of violence.
Bring an end to the violence against women and girls; bring an end to the recruitment of child soldiers.
Heal these countries, heal the communities that make up these lands.
Your prophets of old dreamed of a time when swords would be beaten into ploughshares and spears into pruning hooks. Bring a time now when guns are turned into builders’ tools and jeeps became school busses.
We hold up before you Christian sisters and brothers who seek to walk with the hurting, to protect the vulnerable, and care for those who weep. Strengthen them by your Spirit that they may run and not be weary and walk and not faint.
Transform the hearts of leaders—political leaders, tribal leaders, warlords—bring all to desire peace over victory and humility over greatness.
We rejoice that we can join with millions and millions of Christians in praying this day for South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
In the name of the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ. Amen.
—The Rev. Peter Bush, Moderator of the 143rd General Assembly
Unity Within the Church
The church lives to praise God. We have no higher calling than to offer the worship that belongs to God day by day, Sunday by Sunday. Through the preaching of the Word and the celebration of the Sacraments, in praise, prayer, teaching and fellowship, God sustains the life of the church.
(Living Faith, 7.3.1–7.3.2)