>In these great Fifty Days from Easter Sunday to Pentecost, the church needs to spend some time in the Easter garden of our faith. One fruit of the spirit that needs special attention is peace. We have allowed all kinds of weeds to choke out peace. We have allowed our lives to become fragmented, compartmentalized, divided, and conflicted. We have opted for a false peace of mind that has failed to bring peace to our families. How is it that some can verbally or physically abuse a spouse on Saturday and go to worship on Sunday? That is not the peace of Jesus. We have touted allegiance to a nation that proclaims peace with our mouths and violence with our policies. How can peace be celebrated in one place when there is violence or injustice in another? That is not the peace of Jesus.

We have paid lip service to peace in our workplace and communities, but in our heart of hearts we don’t believe it and we even quietly participate in its demise. The Duke Lacrosse case is evidence of this gardening sabotage. Before the cameras, everyone wants peace, justice, and good-will to be had by all. When the lights go off and the microphones go silent, we secretly retreat behind the familiar lines of family, race, and suspicious silence that can and will threaten any peace that might want to come to the Durham battleground. If we are to cultivate peace, then church, we first have to receive it – and then, we have to share it.

For those interested in cultivating peace in Durham, especially given recent events, you are invited to come to First Presbyterian Church on Wednesday, May 24th from 2 pm – 5 pm to reflect on race, violence, and the role of the media in the midst of this case involving the Duke Lacrosse team. This afternoon is being supported by Durham Congregations in Action, the NAACP, and other concerned citizens. A flyer that give more information can be found at
http://www.dcia.org/DOCS/TheDurhamConferenceFlyer.htm

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