I spent the weekend with a group of amazing young people who are ready to hear God's voice in their life. They came from different places across the Louisiana conference to worship, hear,and serve God. We purposely invited them to leave their world for these few days. We made sure that televisions were off, cell phones put away, and computers were nowhere in site. Little did we knowthat on Saturday a tragedy would make our gathering even more important.Our common prayer during the weekend came from Ephesians:
I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, will give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation that makes God known to you. I pray that the eyes of your heart will have enough light to see what is the hope of God’s call . . .Ephesians 1:15-18 (CEB)
We live in a hurting world, a world where hatred seems to guide the way. Hatred blinds us it makes us see the other not as God's beloved but as an object to be disposed off, to get out of the way.There is no better time to pray that God may "awaken us." We must shine a light in the darkness, we must become peacemakers, we must not participate (through action or inaction) in our systemic pattern of inflammatory rhetoric.In order to be transformed we must take the time to foster the interior life. Oscar Romero, Archbishop of El Salvador, facing a daily life full of violence tells us:
We really live outside of ourselves. There are very few humans who truly live inside themselves and this is why there are so many problems . . . . In each person's heart, there is something like a small, intimate space, where God comes down to speak alone to that person. And this is where a person determines his or her own identity, his or her own role in the world. If each of the people with so many problems were to enter at this moment this small space, and, once there, were to listen to the voice of the Lord which speaks in our own consience, how much could each one of us do to improve the environment, society, the family with whom we live?(from Through The Year With Oscar Romero: Daily Meditations)
As I heard of the events that were unfolding I was thankful to be surrounded by such amazing young people. They were hearing God's call to be about God's kingdom in the world. They left and returned to a world that needs their visions, dreams and hopes. May God awaken us, all of us, to the need for Good News, for our need to become proclaimers of God's love, God's light for the world!