“Pray for peace.” This is a common thing to say. I pray for peace. Mostly, however, I’ve prayed for the idea of peace, I’ve never had to actually earnestly pray for peace before. The Milwaukee area is still on edge from the massacre at the Sikh temple in one of the south suburbs. We have not yet begun to recover from this, and just this week, we had seven shootings in 24 hours in the City of Milwaukee. One of these shootings was three blocks from the church — the same place where a shooting occurred less than a month ago.
Where is God in the midst of all this violence?
There are multitudes of people pointing out what is wrong with our neighborhood. There are plenty of people who are too afraid to come to our neighborhood. People in our community are nervous about spending time out and about. Whenever people have the means to move out of the neighborhood, they usually do.
We need peace.
We don’t just need for the violence to end, we actually need peace. Peace is not just the absence of violence, it is the presence of wholeness. It is the presence of love, it is the presence of community. It is the ability to live with other humans in the way that God intended.
We need more than just safety. We need a wholeness in our community, we need for people to care about one another, we need true peacemakers. Come, Lord Jesus.
Grant us peace, O God. Make our community whole, and transform us so that we can live into the way that you desire us to be. Amen.