Zis-N-Zat From Pastor Asher

God is my conscience, Jesus lives in my heart… this blog is about what I see, what I think, what I do and how I serve God

To the communities of Christ and Worton United Methodist Churches: Call to Prayer for the Situation in the City of Baltimore

Today is Tuesday, April 28, 2015. Yesterday as Debbie and I were getting off of the plane in the airport, we learned about the riots and looting in the city of Baltimore.

Tensions run high, there are injuries, stores have been looted, cars and buildings set on fire, and as I understand, tensions are escalating and curfews are set. That being understood, there was also another story. Last night, Debbie and I watched one of the local TV stations and we saw some of Baltimore’s clergy united, holding hands and walking shoulder to shoulder between police lines and the rioters. These members of the clergy came from different religious traditions and denominations and they stepped forward in one accord, risking their own lives to diffuse the tension, and to offer their support for a meaningful and productive dialogue that would lead to a safer Baltimore with improved economic conditions conducive for all to coexist, flourish and prosper.

I am asking everyone in the communities of Christ and Worton United Methodist Churches (the communities that I have the privilege to pastor at this time) to be in intentional prayer for the situation in Baltimore.

Please pray for everyone involved, those who have been injured or otherwise affected by the violence, and for a peaceful resolution to this conflict.

Pray for the Office of the Mayor of the City, for the City Council, for those who are called to protect and to serve the communities (firemen, EMTs, and policemen), for the National Guard that is being deployed and for our nation.

I know that sometimes it is hard to find words and to know what to pray for. If you are at a loss for words, please use the words of the prayer below that is traditionally attributed to St. Francis of Assisi.

The Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi

Lord, Make us instruments of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let us sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is discord, union;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy;

O Divine Master, Grant that we may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console,
To be understood as to understand,
To be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Amen.

There is always more than one side to every story. Every side of the story has valid and painful points. We can focus on the sensationalistic aspects of what is happening, or we can celebrate what is right with the world. My prayers are with those who are physically and emotionally hurt and are so frustrated that they cannot see any other way out than to riot. My prayers are with the clergy who chose to risk their own lives to be instruments of God’s Peace; I wish I could have been there with them last night.

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